Skip to main content

Full text of "The life and adventures of John James Audubon, the naturalist"

See other formats





Waldemar Fries 







Cornell University Library 
QL 31.A9A2 

The life and adventures of John James Au 

3 1924 001 919 830 






Cornell University 

The original of tiiis book is in 
tine Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 







Addubon at Gkeen Bakk, LivEiiPOOL, {FroTti a drawing by himself.) Sept. 1826 




[r/ie Jiiyht of TransW-itm is reserved.^ 





In the autumn of 1867, the present publishers placed in my 
hands a large manuscript called the "Life of Audubon," pre- 
pared by a friend of Mrs. Audubon's, in New York, chiefly eon- 
sistiug of extracts from the diary of the great American 
naturalist. It needed careful revision, and was, moreover, 
inordinately long. While I cannot fail expressing my admira- 
tion for the affectionate spirit and intelligent sympathy with 
which the friendly editor discharged his task, I am bound to 
say that his literary experience was limited. My business, 
therefore, has been sub- editorial rather than editorial. I have 
had to cut down what was prolix and unnecessary, and' to 
connect the whole in some sort of a running narrative, — iand the 
, result is a volume equal in bulk to about one-fifth of the 
original manuscript. I believe I have omitted nothing of real 
interest, but I am of course not responsible in any way for the 
fidelity of what is given. The episodes, wherever they occur, 
I have given pretty much in full, as being not only much better 


composed than the diary, but fuller of those associations on 
which Audubon rests his fame. 

In a letter recently received from Mrs. Audubon, and written 
after looking over a few of the first sheets, I am called to 
account for some remarks of my own. It is the excellent lady s 
belief that because I am "a Scotchman," I underrate her 
husband and overrate Wilson. I am credited with an " inimical 
feeling towards Mr. Audubon, whose sentiments of gratitude and 
his expressions of them are beautiful towards all his friends ;" 
and while quite agreeing in that opinion, I cannot help retaining 
my doubt whether the publication of these " expressions " would 
gratify the public. Then, again, I have called Audubon vain, 
and perhaps a little selfish, and I can perfectly understand how 
hard these words may seem to the gentle heart of a loving wife. 
Yet they are nevertheless true, and are quite consistent with 
the fact that I admire Audubon hugely, think him a grand and 
large-hearted man, and have the greatest possible desire to see 
him understood by the public. 

But in order to get him understood one must put aside all 
domestic partiality. Call Audubon vain, call • him in some 
things selfish, call him flighty, and inconsequential in his 
worldly conduct, — all these qualities are palpable in every page 
of the diary. He was handsome, and he knew it ; he was 
elegant, and he prided himself upon it. He was generous in 
most things, but he did not love his rivals. He prattled about 
himself like an infant, gloried in his long hair, admired the fine 
curve of his nose, thought " blood " a great thing, and reverenced 
the great. ^ Well, happy is the man who has no greater errors 
than these. 

Audubon was a man of genius, with the courage of a lion and 
the simplicity of a child. One scarcely knows which to admire 
most—the mighty determination which enabled him to carry 


out his great work in the face of difficulties so huge, or the 
gentle and guileless sweetness with which he throughout shared 
his thoughts and aspirations with his wife and children. He was 
more like a child at the mother's knee, than a husband at the 
hearth — so free was the prattle, so thorough the confidence. 
Mrs. Audubon appears to have been a wife in every respect 
worthy of such a man ; willing to sacrifice her personal comfort 
at any moment for the furtherance of his great schemes; over 
ready with kiss and counsel when such were most needed ; never 
failing for a moment in her faith that Audubon was destined to 
be one of the great workers of the earth. 

The man's heart was restless ; otherwise he would never have 
achieved so much. He must wander, he must vagabondize, he 
must acquire ; he was never quite easy at the hearth. His love 
for nature was passionate indeed, pursuing him in all regions, 
burning in him to the last. Among the most touching things in 
the diary, are the brief exclamations of joy when something in 
the strange city — a flock of wild ducks overhead in London, a 
gathering of pigeons on the trees of Paris — reminds him of the 
wild life of wood and plain. He was boy-like to the last, 
glorying most when out of doors. His very vanity and selfish- 
ness, such as they were, were innocent and boyish — they were 
without malice, and savoured more of pique than gall. 

Of the work Audubon has done, nothing need be said in praise 
here. Even were I competent to discuss his merits as an 
ornithologist and ornithological painter, I should be silent, for 
the world has already settled those merits in full. I may trust 
myself, however, to say one word in praise of Audubon as a 
descriptive writer. Some of his reminiscences of adventure, 
some of which are published in this book, seem to me to be 
quite as good, in vividness of presentment and careful colouring, 
as anything I have ever read. 


With these few words of explanation and preface, I may 
safely leave this volume to the public. The initiated will find 
much quite novel matter, and general readers will discover 
plenty of amusing incidents and exciting adventures. 

E. B. 

London, October 1st, 1868. 

The portrait on the title-page is taken from a pen-and-ink drawing kindly- 
lent by Wm. Reynolds, Esq., of Liverpool. The sketch was made by Audubon 
himself whilst residing in the house of Mr. Bathbone, shortly after his first 
arrival in England in 1826. It bears the inscription, "Almost happy!" 




Intboduction — The Aitdubom Genealogy.* 

The name of Audubon is of French origin ; it is extremely 
rare, and while confined in America to the family of the 
naturalist, has in France been traced only among liis ancestry. 
Audubon has told us all that he knew of his relations. He writes ; 
" John Audubon my grandfather was born at the small village 
of Sable d'Olonne, in La Vendee, with a small harbour, forty- 
five miles south from Nantes. He was a poor fisherman with a 
numerous family, twenty-one of whom grew to maturity. There 
was but one boy besides my father, he being the twentieth born, 
and the only one of the numerous famUy who lived to a con- 
siderable age. In subsequent years, when I visited Sable 
d'Olonne, the old inhabitants told me that they had seen the 
whole of this family, including both parents, at- church several 
times on Sunday." 

The father of the naturalist appears to have caught at an 
early age the restless spirit of his times, and Ms father, who 
saw in it the only hope the youth had of obtaining distinction, 
encouraged his love of adventure. He himself says of his start 
in life ; " When I was twelve years of age my father provided 

* The first five or six chapters are merely the preliminary to the series of 
episodes which follow, and are mariied by none of the restless motion and 
bright colour of the naturalist's life. Still, they will be acceptable to those 
whom Audubon interests personally. — R. B. 



me with a shirt, a dress of warm clothing, his blessing, and a 
cane, and sent me out to seek my fortune." 

The youth went to Nantes, and falling in with the captain of 
a vessel bound on a fishing Toyage to the coast of America, he 
shipped on board as a boy before the mast. He continued at 
sea, and by the age of seventeen was rated as an able-bodied 
seaman. At twenty-one he commanded a vessel, and at twenty- 
five he was owner and captain of a small craft. Purchasing 
other vessels, the enterprising adventurer sailed with his little 
fleet to the West Indies. He reached St. Domingo, and there 
fortune dawned upon him. After a few more voyages he 
purchased a small estate. The prosperity of St. Domingo, 
already French, so influenced the mariner's fortunes, that in 
ten years he realised a considerable fortune. Obtaining . an 
appointment irom the governor of St. Domingo, he returned 
to France, and in his official capacity became intimate with 
influential men connected with the .government of the First 
Empire. Through their good offices he obtained an appoint- 
ment in the Imperial navy and the command of a small vessel 
of war. A warm sympathy with the changes wrought by the 
revolution, and an idolatrous worship of Napoleon, must have 
contributed gi-eatly to his success. 

While resident in France he purchased a beautiful estate on 
the Loire, nine miles from Nantes ; — there, after a life of 
remarkable vicissitude, the old sailor died, in 1818, at the great 
age of ninety-five, regretted, as he deserved to be, on account 
of his simplicity of manners and perfect sense of honesty. 
Our Audubon has described his father as a man of good 
proportions, measuring five feet ten inches in height, having 
a hardy constitution and the agility of a wild cat. His 
manners, it is asserted, were most polished, and his natural 
gifts improved by self-education. He had a warm and even 
violent temper, described as rising at times into " the blast of a 
hurricane," but readily appeased. While residing in the West 
Indies, he frequently visited North America, and with some fore- 
sight made purchases of land in the French colony of Louisiana, 
in Virginia, and Pennsylvania. In one of his American visits he 
met and married in Louisiana a lady of Spanish extraction, 


whose heauty and wealth may have made her equally attractive. 
A family of three sons and one daughter blessed this union, and 
the subject of this biographical sketch was the youngest of the 
sons. Soon after his birth Madame Audubon accompanied her 
husband to the estate of Aux Cayes in the island of St. Domingo, 
and there miserably perished during the memorable rising of the 
negro population. 

The black revolt so endangered the property of the foreigners 
resident in St. Domingo, that the plate and money belonging to 
the Audubon family had to be carried away to New Orleans by 
the more faithful of their servants. Eeturning to France with 
his family, the elder Audubon again married, left his young son, 
the future naturalist, under charge of his second wife, and re- 
turned to the United States, in the employment of the French 
government, as an officer in the Imperial navy. While there he 
became attached to the army under Lafayette. Moving hither 
and thither under various changes, he seldom or never communi- 
cated with his boy ; but meanwhile the property which remained 
to him in St. Domingo was greatly augmenting in value. During 
a visit paid to Pennsylvania, the restless Frenchman purchased 
the farm of MiUgrove on the Perkiominy Creek, near the 
Schuylkil Falls. Finally, after a life of restless adventure, he 
returned to France and filled a post in the Marine ; and after 
spending some portion of his years at Eochefort, retired to his 
estate on the Loire. This estate was left by Commodore Audubon 
to his son John James, who conveyed it to his sister without even 
visiting the domain he so generously willed away. 



The Natueamst's Childhood — His First Visit to America. 

The naturalist was born in Louisiana, and his earliest recollec- 
tions are associated with lying among the flowers of that fertile 
land, sheltered by the orange trees, and watching the move- 
ments of the mocking-bird, " the king of song," dear to him in 
after life from many associations. He has remarked that his 
earliest impressions of nature were exceedingly vivid; the 
beauties of natural scenery stirred " a frenzy " in his blood, and at 
the earliest age the bent of his future studies was indicated by 
many characteristic traits. He appears to have left Louisiana 
whUe but a child, and gone to St. Domingo, where he resided 
for a short period, previous to his departure for France, where 
his education was to be commenced. 

His earliest recollections of his life in France extend to 
his home in the central district of the city of Nantes, and a 
fact he remembered well was being attended by two negro 
servants sent home from India by his father. He speaks 
of his life iu Nantes as joyous in the extreme. His step- 
mother, being without any children of her own, humoured the 
child in every whim, and indulged him in every luxury. The 
future naturalist, who in the recesses of American forests 
was to live on roots and fruits, and even scantier fare, was 
indulged with a " carte blanche " on all the confectionery 
shops in the village where his summer months were passed, 
and he speaks of the kindnesses of his stepmother as over- 
whelming. His father had less weakness, ordered the boy 


to attend to his education, to be sent to school, to be tutored 
at home. The elder Audubon had known too many changes 
of fortune to believe in the fickle goddess; and notwithstand- 
ing his wife's tears and entreaties, determining to educate his son 
thoroughly, as the safest inheritance he could leave him, he sent 
the young gentleman straightway to school. Audubon laments 
that education in France was but miserably attended to during 
the years that succeeded the great political convulsions. Military 
education had usurped all the care of the First Empire, and the 
wants of the civil population were but sparingly heeded. His 
father, from natural predilections, was desirous that the boy 
should become a sailor, a cadet in the French navy, or an 
engineer ; and with these views before him, he decided on the 
course of study his son should follow. Mathematics, drawing, 
geography, fencing, and music, were among the branches 
of education prescribed; it beiag evident that a complex 
course of instruction was not among the misapprehensions the 
old sailor's professional prejudices had nurtured. Audubon 
had, for music-master, an adept who taught him to play adroitly 
upon the violin, flute, flageolet, and guitar. For drawing- 
master, he had David, the chief inventor and worshipper of the 
abominations which smothered the aspirations of French artists 
during the revolutionary generation. Nevertheless it was to 
David that Audubon owed his earliest lessons in tracing 
objects of natural history, and the mannerism of the great 
French artist may still be traced in certain pedantries dis- 
cernible in Audubon's style of drawing. Audubon was, more- 
over, a proficient in dancing, — an accomplishment which in after 
years he had more opportunities of practising among bears than 
among men. 

Influenced by the military fever of his time, he dreamed in 
his school days of being a soldier ; but happily for natural 
science his adventurous spirit found another outlet. Fortunately 
his instruction was under the practical guidance of his mother, 
and large scope was allowed him for indulging in nest-hunting 
propensities. Supplied with a haversack of provisions, he made 
frequent excursions into the country, and usually returned loaded 
with objects of natural history, birds' nests, birds' eggs, specimens 
of moss, curious stones, and other objects attractive to his eye. 


When the old sailor returned from sea he was astonished at 
the large collection his boy had made, paid him some compli- 
ments on his good taste, and asked what progress he had made 
in his other studies. No satisfactory reply being given, he 
retired without reproach, but, eridently mortified at the idleness 
of the young naturalist, seemed to turn his attention towards 
his daughter, whose musical attainments had been successfully 
cultivated. On the day following the disclosure father and son 
started for Kochefort, where the elder held some appointment. 
The journey occupied four days, and the pair did not exchange 
one unnecessary word during the journey. Eeaching his official 
residence, the father explained that he himself would super- 
intend his son's education ; gave the boy liberty for one day to 
survey the ships of war and the fortifications, and warned him 
that on the morrow a severe course of study should be com- 
menced. And commence it did accordingly. 

More than a year was spent in the close study of mathematics ; 
though whenever opportunity occurred the severer study was 
neglected for rambles after objects of natural history, and the 
collection of more specimens. At Nantes, Audubon actually 
began to draw sketches of French birds, — a work he continued 
with such assiduity that he completed two hundred specimens. 

His father was desirous that he should joiu the armies 
of Napoleon, and win fame by following the French eagles. 
Warfare, however, had ceased to be a passion of the youth, and 
he was sent out to America to superiutend his father's pro- 
perties. He has recorded in affecting language his regret at 
leaving behind him the country where he had spent his boy- 
hood, the friends upon whose affections he relied, the associations 
that had been endeared to him. " While the breeze wafted along 
the great ship, hours were spent in deep sorrow or melancholy 

"On landing at New York I caught the yellow fever, by 
walking to the bank in Greenwich Street to cash my letters 
of credit." Captain John Smith, whose name is gratefully 
recorded, took compassion on the young emigrant, removed 
him to Morristown, and placed him under the care of two 
Quaker ladies at a boarding-house, and to the kindness of 
these ladies he doubtless owed his life. His father's agent, 


Mr. Fisher, of Philadelphia, knowing his condition, went with 
his carriage to his lodging, and drove the iaTalid to his viUa, 
situated at some distance froin the city on the road to Trenton. 
Mr. Fisher was a Quaker, and a strict formalist in religious 
matters ; did not approve of hxmting, and even objected to music. 
To the adventurous and romantic youth this hoiae was little 
livelier than a prison, and he gladly escaped from it. Mr. 
Fisher, at his request, put him in possession of his father's 
property of Mill Grove, on the Perkiominy Creek ; and from 
the rental paid by the tenant, a Quaker named William Thomas, 
the youth found himself supplied with all the funds he needed. 

At Mill Grove yoimg Audubon found " a blessed spot." In 
the regularity of the fences, the straight and military exactness 
of the avenues, Audubon saw his father's taste, nay, his very 
handiwork. The mill attached to the property was to him a 
daily source of enjoyment, and he was delighted with the 
repose of the quiet milldam where the pewees were accustomed 
to build. " Huntiag, fishing, and drawing occupied my every 
moment," he writes; adding, "cares I knew not, and cared 
nothing for them." 

In simple and unaffected language he relates his introduc- 
tion to his wife, the daughter of Mr. Bakewell, an English 
gentleman who had purchased the adjoining property. Mr. 
Bakewell lived at Fatland Ford, within sight of MiU Grove, 
but Audubon had avoided the family, as English, and objection- 
able to one who had been nurtured with a hatred to " per- 
fidious Albion." The very name of Englishman was odious to 
him, he tells us ; and even after his neighbour had called upon 
him, he was uncivil enough to postpone his advances in return. 
Mrs. Thomas, the tenant's wife at MiU Grove, with a woman's 
desire to see what the issue might be, urged her young master 
to visit the Bakewell family ; but the more he was urged his 
heart appeared to be the more hardened against the stranger. 

The winter's frosts had set in. Audubon was following some 
grouse down the creek, when suddenly he came upon Mr. Bake- 
well, who at once dissipated the Frenchman's prejudices by the 
discovery of kindred tastes. Audubon writes : " I was struck 
with the kind politeness of his manners, and found him a most 
expert marksman, and entered into conversation. I admired 


tho beauty of his well-trained dogB, and finally promised to call 
upon him and his family. Well do I recollect the morning, 
and may it please God that I may never forget it, when, for the 
first time, I entered the Bakewell household. It happened that 
Mr. Bakewell was &om home. I was shown into a parlour, where 
only ©ne young lady was snugly seated at work, with her back 
turned towards the fire. She rose on my entrance, offered me a 
seat, and assured me of the gratification her father would feel 
on his return, which, she added with a smile, would be in a few 
minutes, as she would send a servant after him. Other ruddy 
cheeks made their appearance, but like spirits gay, vanished from 
my sight. Talking and working, the young lady who remained 
made the time pass pleasantly enough, and to me especially 
so. It was she, my dear Lucy Bakewell, who afterwards became 
my wife and the mother of my children." 

Mr. Bakewell speedily returned, and Lucy attended to the 
lunch provided before leaving on a shooting expedition. 
«'Lucy rose from her seat a second time, and her form, to 
which I had before paid little attention, seemed radiant with 
beauty, and my heart and eyes followed her every step. The 
repast being over, guns and dogs were provided, and as we left 
I was pleased to believe that Lucy looked upon me as a not 
very strange animal. Bowing to her, I felt, I knew not why, 
that I was at least not indifferent to her." 

The acquaintance so pleasantly begun rapidly matured. 
Audubon and Bakewell were often companions in their shoot- 
ing excursions, and finally the whole Bakewell family were 
invited to Mill Grove. 

The property of Audubon was separated from Bakewell's 
plantation by a road leading from Morristown to Pawling's 
Landing, now Pawling's Bridge, or about a quarter of a mile 
apart ; and the result of the friendly relationship established 
between the two households gave rise to a series of mutual 
signals, chalked on a board and hung out of the window. 
The friendship deepened. Lucy Bakewell taught English to 
Audubon, and received drawing lessons in rjpfurn. Of course 
no one failed to predict the result ; but as a love affair is chiefly 
interesting to those immediately concerned, we pass on to other 



At Mill Grove Audubon pored over his idea of a great work on 
American Ornithology, until the thought took some shape in his 
fervid mind. The work he had prepared for himself to do was an 
' Ornithological Biography,' including an account of the habits 
and a description of the birds of America ; that work which in 
its completed form Cuvier pronounced to be " The most, gigantic 
biblical enterprise ever undertaken by the enterprise of a single 
individual." However, it was only after his drawings and his 
descriptions accumulated upon him that Audubon decided to 
give the collection the form of a scientific work. 

Audubon speaks of his life at Mill Grove as being in every 
way agreeable. He had ample means for all his wants, was 
gay, extravagant, and fond of dress. He rather naively writes 
ia his journal, " I had no vices ; but was thoughtless, pensive, 
loving, fond of shooting, fishing, and riding, and had a passion 
for raising all sorts of fowls, and which som-ces of interest 
and amusement fully occupied my time. It was one of my 
fancies to be ridiculously fond of dress; to hunt in black 
satin breeches, wear pumps when shooting, and dress in the 
finest ruffted shirts I could t)btain from France." He was also 
fond of dancing; and music, and skating, and attended all the 
balls and skating parties in his neighbourhood. Regarding his 
mode of life, Audubon gives some hints useful to those who 
desire to strengthen their constitution by an abstemious diet. 


He says: — "I ate no butcher's meat, lived chiefly on fruits, 
vegetables, and fish, and never drank a glass of spirits or wine 
until my wedding day. To this I attribute my continual good 
health, endurance, and an iron constitution. So strong was 
the habit, that I disliked going to dinner parties, where people 
were expected to indulge in eating and drinking, and where 
often there was not a single dish to my taste. I cared nothing 
for sumptuous entertainments. Pies, puddings, eggs, and milk 
or cream was the food I Mked best ; and many a time was the 
dairy of Mrs. Thomas, the tenant's wife of Mill Grove, robbed of 
the cream intended to make butter for the Philadelphia market. 
All this while I was fair and rosy as a girl, strong as any one of 
my age and sex could be, and as active and agile as a buck. 
And why, have I often thought, should I not have kept to this 
delicious mode of living ?" 

Note here a curious incident in connection with his love of 
skating and his proficiency as a marksman. Having been 
skating down the Perkiominy Creek, he met Miss Bakewell's 
young brother William, and wagered that he would put a 
shot through his cap when tossed into the air, while Audubon 
was passing full speed. The experiment was made, and the 
cap riddled. A stiU more striking incident is thus related. 
"Having engaged in a duck-shooting expedition up the 
Perkiominy Creek with young Bakewell and some young 
friends, it was found that the ice was full of dangerous air-holes. 
On our upward journey it was easy to avoid accident, but the 
return trip was attended with an accident which had nearly 
closed my career. Indeed, my escape was one of the inconceiv- 
able miracles that occasionally rescues a. doomed man from his 
fate. The trip was extended too far, and night and darkness 
had set in long before we reached home. I led the party 
through the dusk with a white handkerchief made fast to a stick, 
and we proceeded like a flock of geese going to their feeding 
ground. Watching for air-holes, I generally avoided them ; but 
increasing our speed, I suddenly plunged into one, was carried 
for some distance by the stream under the ice, and stunned and 
choking I was forced up through another air-hole farther down 
the stream. I clutched hold of the ice and arrested my downward 
progress, until my companions arrived to help me. My wet 


clothes had to be changed. One lent me a shirt, another a 
coat, and so apparelled I resumed my homeward journey. 
Unable to reach Mill Grove, I was taken to Mr. BakeweU's 
house chilled and bruised. It was three months before I 
recovered, notwithstanding the advice of able physicians called 
in from Philadelphia." 

The quiet life young Audubon led at MiU Grove was inter- 
rupted by an incident in his life which . might have proved 
serious to one owning less energy and hardihood than he pos- 
sessed. A "partner, tutor, and monitor," one Da Casta, sent 
from France by the elder Audubon to prosecute the lead mine 
enterprise at Mill Grove, began to assume an authority over 
young Audubon which the latter considered unwarranted. An 
attempt was made to limit his iinances, and Da Casta, unfortu- 
nately for himself, went further, and objected to the proposed 
union with Lucy Bakewell, as being an unequal match. 
Audubon resented such interference, and demanded money 
from Da Casta to carry him to France. The French adventurer 
suggested a voyage to India, but finally agreed to give Audubon 
a letter of credit upon an agent named Kanman, in New York. 
With characteristic earnestness Audubon walked straight off to 
New York, where he arrived in three days, notwithstanding the 
severity of a midwinter journey. The day following his arrival 
he called upon Mr. Kanman, who frankly told him he had no 
money to give him, and further disclosed Da Casta's treachery 
by hinting that Audubon should be seized and shipped for 
China. Furious at this treatment, Audubon procured money 
from a friend, and engaged a passage on board the brig Hope, 
of New Bedford, bound for Nantes. He left New York, and 
after considerable delays, surprised his parents in their quiet 
country home. 



Eesult of Aitdubon's Voyage to Fea.ncb— His Father's consent to 

SHIPMAN — Return to America— Chased by a' Privateer — Narrow 
Escape from Losing his Gold. 

Explaining to his father the scandalous conduct of Da Casta, 
young Audubon prevailed so far that the traitor was removed 
from the position which he had been placed in with such 
hasty confidence. He had also to request his father's approval 
of his marriage with Miss Lucy Bakewell, and the father promised 
to decide as soon as he had an answer to a letter he had written 
to Mr. Bakewell in Pennsylvania. Settled in the paternal house 
for a year, the naturalist gratified in every fashion his wander- 
ing instincts. He roamed everywhere in the neighbourhood of 
the home, shooting, fishing, and collecting specimens of natural 
history. He also continued his careful drawings of natural 
history specimens, and stuffed and prepared many birds and 
animals — an art which he had carefully acquired in America. 
In one year two hundred drawings of European birds had been 
completed — a fact which displays marvellous industry, if it does 
not necessarily imply a sound artistic representation of the 
birds drawn. At this period the tremendous convulsions of 
the French empire had culminated in colossal preparations 
for a conflict with Eussia. The conscription threatened every 
man capable of bearing arms, and Audubon appeared to believe 
that he stood in some danger of being enrolled in the general 


levy. His two brothers were already serving in the armies of 
Napoleon as officers, and it was decided that their junior should 
voluntarily join the navy. After passing what he called "a 
superficial examination " for an appointment as midshipman, he 
was ordered to report at Eochefort. Entering upon his duties in 
the French marine, he was destined to make at least one short 
cruise in the service of France. Before entering the service he 
had made the acquaintance of a young man named Ferdinand 
Rosier, with whom he had made some proposal of going to 
America. On the return of the vessel in which he acted, 
it was proposed that he and Eosier should leave for America as 
partners, under a nine years' engagement. The elder Audubon 
obtained leave of absence for his son ; and after passports were 
provided, the two emigrants left France at a period when 
thousands would have been glad of liberty to follow their foot- 

About two weeks after leaving France, a vessel gave chase 
to the French vessel, passed her by to windward, fired a shot 
across her bows, and continued the chase imtil the captain 
of the outward bound was forced to heave his ship to, and 
submit to be boarded by a boat. The enemy proved to be the 
English privateer, Eattlesnake, the captain of which was sadly 
vexed to find that his prey was an American vessel, carrying 
proper papers, and flying the stars and stripes. Unable to 
detain the vessel, the privateer's crew determined at least to 
rob the passengers. "They took pigs and sheep," writes 
Audubon, " and carried away two of our best sailors, in spite of 
the remonstrances of the captain, and of a member of the 
United States Congress, who was a passenger on board, and 
was accompanied by an amiable daughter. The Eattlesnake 
kept us under her lee, and almost within pistol-shot for a day 
and a night, ransacking the ship for money, of which we had a 
great deal in the run under the ballast, which though partially 
removed, they did not go deep enough to reach the treasure. 
The gold belonging to Eosier and myself I put away in a 
woollen stocking under the ship's cable in the bows of the 
ship, where it remained safe until the privateers had departed. 
Eeaching within thirty miles of Sandy Hook, a fishing-smack 
was spoken, which reported that two British frigates lay off 


the entrance, and had fired on an American ship ; that they 
were impressing American seamen, and that, in fact, they 
were even more dangerous to meet than the pirates who sailed 
under " a letter of marque." The captain, warned of one danger, 
ran into another. He took his vessel through Long Island 
Sound, and ran it upon a spit in a gale. Floated off the 
Adventurous; finally reached New York in safety." 


The Instincts of the Natuealist — Difficulties to be Ovesoomb in 
Dbpictins Bieds — Aetistic Anxieties — Knowledge of Botany — Goes 
to New Yobk to acquibb a Knowledge of Bitsinbss — Loses Monet 
and does not succbbd in his pubposb — poetbait op himsblp — 
Rbtubns TO Mill Gbovb — Expedition to the West. i 

From the introductory address in the first yolume of Audubon's 
' Ornithological Biography,' published at Edinburgh, in 1834, 
many passages may be cited as an exposition of the high 
aspirations which stimulated the young naturalist to his task. 
These passages may be divided into scientific and artistic. Belong- 
ing to the first category are constant references to that thirst for 
accurate and complete knowledge regarding wild animals, and 
especially birds, their habits, forms, nests, eggs, progeny, places 
of breeding, and all that concerned them. But, after all, 
Audubon was not at heart a man of science. He gathered 
much, and speculated little, and was more a backwoodsman 
than a philosopher. In his rough great way he did good 
service, but his great physical energy, not his mental resources, 
was the secret of his success. 

His crude artistic instincts inspired him with the desire to 
represent, by the aid of pencil, crayon, or paint, the form, 
plumage, attitude, and characteristic marks of his feathered 
favourites. In working towards this end, he laboured to pro- 
duce life-like pictures, and frequently with wonderful success. 
Strongly impressed with the difficulties of representing in any 
perfect degree the living image of the birds he drew, he laboured 


arduously at what we may call forcible photographs in colours, 
his first aim being fidelity, and his next, artistic beauty. How 
much chagrin his failures cost him may be gleaned from the 
lamentations he makes over his unsuccessful efforts in the 
introductory address referred to above. Eegarding the means 
he adopted to secure a faultless representation of the animals 
he desired to transcribe, he writes : — " Patiently and with in- 
dustry did I apply myself to study, for although I felt the 
impossibility of giving life to my productions, I did not abandon 
the idea of representing nature. Many plans were successively 
adopted, many masters guided my hand. At the age of seven- 
teen, when I returned from France, whither I had gone to 
receive the rudiments of my education, my drawings had assumed 
a form. David had guided my hand in tracing objects of large 
size : eyes and noses belonging to giants and heads of horses, 
represented in ancient sculpture, were my models. These, 
although fit subjects for men intent on pursuing the higher 
branches of art, were immediately laid aside by me. I returned 
to the woods of the new world with fresh ardour, and com- 
menced a collection of drawings, which I henceforth continued, 
and which is now publishing imder the title of ' The Birds of 
America.' " 

To resume the narrative of Audubon's journey back to Mill 
Grove. Da Casta was dismissed from his situation, and Audubon 
remained his own master. Mr. William Bakewell, the brother 
of Lucy, has recorded some interesting particulars of a visit to 
MUl Grove at this period. He says : — " Audubon took me to 
his house, where he and his companion Eosier resided, with 
Mrs. Thomas for an attendant. On entering his room, I was 
astonished and delighted to find that it was turned into a 
museum. The walls were festooned with all sorts of birds' 
eggs, carefully blown out and strung on a thread. The chimney- 
piece was covered with stuffed squirrels, racoons, and opossums ; 
and the shelves around were likewise crowded with specimens, 
among which were fishes, frogs, snakes, lizards, and other 
reptiles. Besides these stuffed varieties, many paintings were 
arrayed upon the walls, chiefly of birds. He had great skill in 
stuffing and preserving animals of all sorts. He had also a 
trick of training dogs with great perfection, of which art his 


famous dog Zephyr was a wonderful example. He was an 
admirable marksman, an expert swimmer, a clever rider, pos- 
sessed great activity, prodigious strength, and was notable for 
the elegance of his figure and the beauty of his features, and he 
aided nature by a careful attendance to his dress. Besides 
other accomplishments, he was musical, a good fencer, danced 
well, had some acquaintance of legerdemain tricks, worked in 
hair, and could plait willow-baskets." He adds further, that 
Audubon once swam across the Schuylkil river with him on his 
back, no contemptible feat for a young athlete. 

The naturalist was evidently a nonpareil in the eyes of his 
neighbours, and of those who were intimate enough to know his 
manifold tastes. But Love began to interfere a little with the 
gratification of these Bohemian instincts. On expressing his 
desire of uniting himself to Miss Bakewell, Audubori was advised 
by Mr. Bakewell to obtain some knowledge of commercial 
pursuits before getting married. With this intention, Audubon 
started for New York, entered the counting-house of Mr. Benjamin 
Bakewell, and made rapid progress in Iiis education by losing 
some hundreds of pounds by a bad speculation in indigo. 

The leading work done by the imprisoned naturalist was, as 
usual, wandering in search of birds and natural curiosities. While 
so engaged he made the acquaintance of Dr. Samuel Mitchel, 
one of the leading medical men in New York city, and dis- 
tinguished as an ethnologist. Dr. Mitchel was one of the 
founders of the Lyceum of Natural' History, and of the ' Medical 
Repository,' which was the first scientific journal started in the 
United States. Audubon prepared many specimens for this 
gentleman, which he believed were finally deposited in the New 
York Museum. After a season of probation, during which 
Mr. Bakewell became convinced of the impossibility of tutoring 
Audubon into mercantile habits, the naturalist gladly returned 
to Mill Grove. Rosier,, who had likewise been recommended 
to attempt commerce, lost a considerable sum in an unfortunate 
speculation, and eventually returned to Mill Grove with his 

Audubon remarks that at this period it took him but a few 
minutes, walking smartly, to pass from one end of New York to 
another, so sparse was the population at the date of his residence. 



He adds, in reference to his absent habits and unsuitability for 
business, that he at one time posted without sealing it a letter 
containing 8000 dollars. His natural history pursuits in New 
York occasioned a disagreeable flavour from his rooms, occasioned 
by drying birds' skins; and was productive of so much annoyance 
to his neighbours, that they forwarded a message to him through 
a constable, insisting on his abating the nuisance. An excellent 
pen and ink sketch of his own appearance at this time has been 
left by Audubon, He says : " I measui-ed five feet ten and a 
half inches, was of a fair mien, and quite a handsome figure ; 
large, dark, and rather sunken eyes, light-coloured eyebrows, 
aquiline nose, and a fine set of teeth ; hair, fine texture and 
luxuriant, divided and passing down behind each ear in luxuriant 
ringlets as far as the shoulders." There appears excellent 
reason to believe that Audubon quite appreciated his youthful 
graces, and, with the naivete of a simple nature, was not ashamed 
to record them. 

After returning to Mill Grove, Audubon and his friend Eosier 
planned an expedition towards the west, at that time a wild 
region thinly populated by a very strange people. 


Audubon's Mabriaqe and Journey to Louisville — His Settlement 

ERN Hospitality — Business Prospects — Removal of Business to 
Hendebsonville — Meeting with Alexander Wilson, the American 
Ornithologist and Paisley Poet. 

The journey of Audubon and Eosier to Kentucky had for its 
purpose the discovery of some outlet for the naturalist's energies, 
in the shape of a settled investment, which would permit 
of his marriage to Miss Bakewell. In Louisville Audubon de- 
termined to remain, and with this purpose in view he sold his 
plantation of Mill Grove, invested his capital in goods, and pre- 
pared to start for the west. His arrangements being complete, 
he was married to Miss Bakewell on the 8th of April, 1808, in 
her father's residence at Fatland Ford. Joui-neying by Pittsburg 
the wedded pair reached Louisville with their goods in safety. 
From Pittsburg they sailed down the Ohio in a flat-bottomed 
float named an ark, and which proved to be an exceedingly 
tedious and primitive mode of travelling. This river voyage 
occupied twelve days, and must have given the naturalist 
wonderful opportunities of making observations. At Louisville 
he commenced trade under favourable auspices, but the hunting 
01 birds continued to be the ruLmg passion. His life at this 
period, in the company of his young wife, appears to have been 
extremely happy, and he writes that he had really reason " to 
care for nothing." The country around Louisville was settled 
by planters who were fond of hunting, and among whom he 

c 2 


found a ready welcome. The shooting and drawing of birds was 
continued. His friend Eosier, less fond of rural sports, stuck to 
the counter, and, as Audubon phrases it, " grew rich, and that 
was all he cared for." Audubon's pursuits appear to have severed 
him from the business, which was left to Eosier's management. 
Finally, the war of 1812 imperilled the prosperity of the part- 
ners, and what goods remained on hand were shipped to Hender- 
sonville, Kentucky, where Eosier remained for some years longer, 
before going further westward in search of the fortune he coveted. 
Writing of the kindness shown him by his friends at Louisville, 
Audubon relates that when he was absent on business, or " away 
on expeditions," his wife was carried off to some neighbour's 
house, and taken care of till he returned. 

It was at Louisville that Audubon made the acquaintance of 
Wilson, the American ornithologist. Wilson, a poor Scottish 
rhyme-making weaver, had been driven from Paisley through 
his sympathies with the political agitators of that notable 
Scottish town ; and finding a refuge in the United States, had 
turned his attention to ornithology. From the pages of Audu- 
bon's 'Ornithological Biography' it may be interesting to re- 
produce an account of the meeting between the two naturalists. 
" One fair morning," writes Audubon, " I was surprised by the 
sudden entrance into our counting-room at Louisville of Mr. 
Alexander Wilson, the celebrated author of the 'American 
Ornithology,' of whose existence I had never until that moment 
been apprized. This happened in March, 1810. How well do I 
remember him, as he then walked up to me ! His long, rather 
hooked nose, the keenness of his eyes, and his prominent cheek- 
bones, stamped his countenance with a peculiar character. His 
dress, too, was of a kind not usually seen in that part of the 
country ; a short coat, trousers, and a waistcoat of grey cloth. 
His stature was not above the middle size. He had two volumes 
under his arm, and as he approached the table at which I was 
working, I thought I discovered something lilce astonishment in 
his countenance. He, however, immediately proceeded to dis- 
close the object of his visit, which was to procure subscriptions 
for his work. He opened his books, explained the nature of his 
occupations, and requested my patronage. I felt surprised and 
gratified at the sight of his volumes, turned over a few of the 


plates, and had already taken a pen to write my name in his 
favour, when my partner rather abruptly said to me, in French* 
' My dear Audubon, what induces you to subscribe to this work? 
Your drawings are certainly far better ; and again, you must know 
as much of the habits of American birds as this gentleman.' 
Whether Mr. Wilson understood French or not, or if the 
suddenness with which I paused, disappointed him, I cannot 
tell ; but I clearly perceived that he was not pleased. Vanity 
and the encomiums of my friend prevented me from subscribing. 
Mr. Wilson asked me if I had many drawings of birds. I rose, 
took down a large portfolio, laid it on the table, and showed 
him — as I would show you, kind reader, or any other person fond 
of such subjects — the whole of the contents, with the same patience 
with which he had shown me his own" engravings. His surprise 
appeared great, as he told me he never had the most distant 
idea that any other individual than himself had been engaged 
in forming such a collection. He asked me if it was my intention 
to publish, and when I answered in the negative, his surprise 
seemed to increase. And, truly, such was not my intention ; 
for, until long after, when I met the Prince of Musignano in 
Philadelphia, I had not the least idea of presenting the fruits of 
my labours to the World. Mr. Wilson now examined my drawings 
with care, asked if I should have any objections to lending him 
a few during his stay, to which I replied that I had none. He 
then bade me good-morning, not, however, until I had made an 
arrangement to explore the woods in the vicinity along with 
him, and had promised to procure for him some birds, of which 
I had drawings in my collection, but which he had never seen. 
It happened that he lodged in the same house with us, but his 
retired habits, I thought, exhibited either a strong feeling of 
discontent or a decided melancholy. The Scotch airs which he 
flayed sweetly on his flute made me melancholy too, and I felt 
for him. I presented him to my wife and friends, and seeing 
that he was all enthusiasm, exerted myself as much as was in 
my power to procure for him the specimens which he wanted. 
We hunted together, and obtained birds which he had never 
before seen ; but, reader, I did not subscribe to his work, for, 
even at that time, my collection was greater than his. Thinking 
that perhaps he might be pleased to publish the results of my 


researches, I offered them to him, merely on coudition that what 
I had drawn, or might afterwards draw and send to him, should 
be mentioned in his work as coming from my pencil. I at the 
same time offered to open a correspondence with him, which I 
thought might prove beneficial to us both. He made no reply 
to either proposal, and before many days had elapsed left 
Louisville, on his way to New Orleans, little knowing how much 
his talents were appreciated in our little town, at least by myself 
and my friends. 

" Some time elapsed, during which I never heard of him, or 
of his work. At length, having occasion to go to Philadelphia, 
I, immediately after my arrival there, inquired for him, and 
paid him a visit. He was then drawing a white-headed eagle. 
He received me with civility, and took me to the exhibition 
rooms of Eembrandt Peale, the artist, who had then portrayed 
Napoleon crossing the Alps. Mr. Wilson spoke not of birds or 
drawings. Feeling, as I was forced to do, that my company 
was not agreeable, I parted from him ; and after that I never 
saw him again. But judge of my astonishment some time after, 
when on reading the thirty-ninth page of the ninth volume of 
'American Ornithology,' I found in it the following para- 
graph : — 

« ' March 23, 1810. — I bade adieu to Louisville, to which 
place I had four letters of recommendation, and was taught to 
expect much of everything there ; but neither received one act 
of civility from those to whom I was recommended, one sub- 
scriber, nor one new bird ; though I delivered my letters, 
ransacked the woods repeatedly, and visited all the characters 
likely to subscribe. Science or literature has not one friend in 
this place.' " 

The contrast between the chivalric conduct of Audubon and 
"Wilson's narrow spirit are here very marked ; but it has to be 
borne in mind that, while Audubon was a polished and well- 
educated French gentleman, Wilson was a poor weaver, educated 
by the aid of his own industry, and suffering from the many 
blights that had fallen upon his class in a land where the 
amenities of civilization had not done much to soften the 
manners of the working classes. Further, this and many other 
incidents related by Audubon himself must be taken cum grcmo 


salis. If Audubon had one marked fault, it was vanity ; he was 
a queer compound of Actaeon and Narcissus — ^holding a gun in 
one hand and flourishing a looking-glass in the other. It was 
little not to subscribe to Wilson's book, and it naturally awakened 
suspicion. Like all vain men, the Frenchman was not unsel- 
fish, as the deader will doubtless discover for himself in the 



Ebtuen of Mes. Audubon to hek Fathbb's House — Audubon and Eosieb 
MOVE TO Hendbbsonville — BUSINESS Uneemuneeative — Detebminb 
TO TEY St. GeneviSivb on the Mississippi — Sail down the Ohio and 


Shootino WITH Indians — A Bbae Hunt, and Valiant Indian — 
Towing up the Mississippi — Boat Fbozen in — Mebtino with Osage 
Indians — Desperate Epfoet to Rescue the Boat peom Ice — Abeival 


At LouisviUe it was discovered that business was suffering 
from over competition, and no further time was to be lost in 
transferring the stock to Hendersonville. Before leaving 
Louisville to take up his residence at Hendersonville, farther 
down the Ohio river, Audubon took his wife and young son 
back to her father's house at Fatland Ford, where they re- 
sided for a year. 

Audubon and his partner Eosier arranged their migration 
with the remaining stock, 'and entered upon their voyage of 
one hundred and twenty miles down the Ohio to Henderson- 
ville. Arriving at this place, they found the iieighbourhood 
thinly inhabited, and the demand for goods almost limited to 
the coarsest materials. The merchants were driven to Hve 
upon the produce of their guns and fishing-rods. 

The clefk employed for the firm had even to assist in supply- 
ing the table, and while he did so Eosier attended to the 
business. The profits on any business done was enormous, but 
the sales were so trifling that another change was determined 
on. It was proposed that the stock in hand should be removed 


to St. Genevieve, a settlement on the Mississippi river, and 
until it was ascertained how the enterprise would prosper, 
Mrs. Audubon should be left at Hendersonville, with the family 
of Dr. Parkin, who resided in the immediate neighbourhood. Of 
the adventurous voyage to St. Genevieve, Audubon gives tliis 
graphic account : — 

" Putting our goods, which consisted of three hundred barrels 
of whisky, sundry dry goods, and powder, on board a keel- 
boat, my partner, my clerk, and self departed in a severe 
snow-storm. The boat was new, staunch, and well trimmed, and 
had a cabin in her bow. A long steering oar, made of the 
trunk of a slender tree, about sixty feet in length, and shaped 
at its outer extremity like the fin of a dolphin, helped to 
steer the boat, while the four oars from the bow impelled her 
along, when going with the current, about five miles an hour. 

" The storm we set out in continued, and soon covered the 
ground with a wintry sheet. Our first night on board was 
dismal indeed, but the dawn brought us opposite the mouth of 
the Cumberland Eiver. It was evident that the severe cold 
had frozen all the neighbouring lakes and lagoons, because 
thousands of wild water-fowl were flying to the river, and 
settling themselves on its borders. We permitted our boat to 
drift past, and amused ourselves by firing into flocks of birds. 

" The third day we entered Cash Creek, a very small stream, 
but having deep water and a good harbour. Here I met Count 
Demun, who was also in a boat Kke ours, and bound also for 
St. Genevieve. Here we 'learned that the Mississippi was 
covered with floating ice of a thickness dangerous to the safety 
of our craft, and indeed that it was impossible to ascend the 
river against it. 

" The creek was full of water, was crowded with wild birds, 
and was plentifully supplied with fish. The large sycamores, 
and the bare branches of the trees that fringed the creek, were 
favourite resorts of paroquets, which came at night to roost 
in their hollow trunks. An agreeable circumstance was an 
encampment of about fifty families of Shawnee Indians, 
attracted to the spot by the mast of the forest, which brought 
together herds of deer, and many bears and racoons. 

" Mr. Eosier, whose only desire was to reach the destination' 


and resume trade, was seized with melancholy at the prospect 
occasioned by the delay. He brooded in silence over a mishap 
which had given me great occasion for rejoicing." 

A narrative of Audubon's stay at Cash Creek, and perilous 
journey up the Mississippi, is picturesquely given in his journal, 
and from which the following is extracted : — 

" The second morning after our arrival at Cash Creek,' while 
I was straining my eyes to discover whether it was fairly day 
dawn or no, I heard a movement in the Indian camp, and 
discovered that a canoe, with half a dozen squaws and as many 
hunters, was about leaving for Tennessee. I had heard that 
there was a large lake opposite to us, where immense flocks of 
swans resorted every morning, and asking permission to join 
them, I seated myseK on my haunches in the canoe, well pro- 
vided with ammunition and a bottle of whisky, and in a few 
minutes the paddles were at work, swiftly propelling us to the 
opposite shore. I was not much sufpriaed to see the boat 
paddled by the squaws, but I was quite so to see the hunters 
stretch themselves out and go- to sleep. On landing, the squaws 
took charge of the canoe, secured it, and went in search of nuts, 
while we gentlemen hunters made the best of our way through 
thick and thin to the lake. Its muddy shores were overgrown 
with a close growth of cotton trees, too large to be pushed 
aside, and too thick to pass through except by squeezing your- 
self at every few steps ; and to add to the difficulty, every few 
rods we came to small nasty lagoons, which one must jump, 
leap, or swim, and this not without peril of broken limbs or 

" But when the lake burst on our view there were the swans 
by hundreds, and white as rich cream, either dipping their 
black bills in the water, or stretching out one leg on its surface, 
or gently floating along. According to the Indian mode of 
hunting, we had divided, and approached the lagoon from 
different sides. The moment our vidette was seen, it seemed as 
if thousands of large, fat, and heavy swans were startled, and as 
they made away from him they drew tojvards the ambush of 
death ; for the trees had hunters behind them, whose touch of the 
trigger would carry destruction among them. As the first party 
fired, the game rose and flew within easy distance of the party 


on the opposite side, when they again fired, and I saw the water 
covered with birds floating with their backs downwards, and 
their heads sunk in the water, and their legs kicking in the 
air. When the sport was over we counted more than fifty of 
these beautiful birds, whose skins were intended for the ladies 
in Europe. There were plenty of geese and ducks, but no one 
condescended to give them a shot. A conch was sounded, and 
after a while the squaws .came dragging the canoe, and collect- 
ing the dead game, which was taken to the river's edge, fastened 
to the canoe, and before dusk we were again landed at our 
camping groimd. I had heard of sportsmen in England who 
walked a whole day, and after firing a pound of powder returned 
in great glee, bringing one partridge ; and I could not help 
wondering what they would think of the spoil we were bearing 
from Swan Lake ? 

" The fires were soon lighted, and a soup of pecan nuts and 
bear fat made and eaten. The hunters stretched themselves with 
their feet close to the camp-fires, intended to burn all night. 
The squaws then began to skin the birds, and I retii-ed, very 
well satisfied with my Christmas sport. 

" When I awoke in the morning and made my rounds through 
the camp, I found a squaw had been delivered of beautiful twins 
during the night, and I saw the same squaw at work tanning 
deer-skins. She had cut two vines at the roots of opposite trees, 
and made a cradle of bark, in which the new-bom ones were 
wafted to and fro with a push of her hand, while from time to 
time she gave them the breast, and was apparently as uncon- 
cerned as if the event had not taken place. 

" An Indian camp on a hunting expedition is by no means a 
place of idleness, and although the men do. little more than 
hunt, they perform their task with an industry which borders 
on enthusiasm. I was invited by three hunters to a bear hunt. 
A tall, robust, well-shaped fellow, assured me that we should 
have some sport that day, for he had discovered the haunt of 
one of large size, and he wanted to meet him face to face ; and 
we four started to see how he would fulfil his boast. About half 
a mile from the camp he said he perceived his tracks, though I 
could see nothing ; and we rambled on through the cane brake 
until we came to an immense decayed log, in which he swore 


the bear was. I saw his eye sparkle with joy, his rusty blanket 
was thrown off his shoulders, his brawny arms swelled with 
blood, as he drew his scalping-knife from his belt with a flourish 
which showed that fighting was his delight. He told me to 
mount a small sapling, because a bear cannot climb one, while 
it can go up a large tree with the nimbleness of a squirrel. The 
two other Indians seated themselves at the entrance, and the 
hero went in boldly. All was silent for a few moments, when 
he came out and said the bear was dead, and T might come 
down. The Indians cut a long vine, went into the hollow tree, 
fastened it to the animal, and with their united force dragged it 
out. I really thought that this was an exploit. 

" Since then I have seen many Indian exploits, which proved 
to me their heroism. In Europe or America the white hunter 
would have taken his game home and talked about it for weeks, 
but these simple people only took off the animal's skin, hung 
the flesh in quarters on the trees, and continued their hunt. 
Unable to follow them, I returned to the camp, accompanied by 
one Indian, who broke the twigs of the bushes we passed, and 
sent back two squaws on the track, who brought the flesh and 
skin of the bear to the camp. 

" At length the nuts were nearly all gathered, and the game 
grew scarce, and the hunters remained most of the day in camp ; 
and they soon made up their packs, broke up their abodes, put 
all on board their canoes, and paddled off down the Mississippi 
for the little prairie on the Arkansas. 

" Their example made a stir among the whites, and my impa- 
tient partner begged me to cross the bend and see if the ice was 
yet too solid for us to ascend the river. Accordingly, accompanied 
by two of the crew, I made my way to the Mississippi. The 
weather was milder, and the ice so sunk as to be scarcely per- 
ceptible, and I pushed up the shore to a point opposite Cape 
Girardeau. We hailed the people on the opposite bank; and a 
robust yellow man came across, named Loume. He stated that 
he was a son of the Spanish governor of Louisiana, and a good 
pilot on the river, and would take our boat up provided we had 
four good hands, as he had six. A bargain was soon struck ; 
their canoe hauled into the woods, some blazes struck on the 
trees, and all started for Cash Creek. 


" The night was spent in making tugs of hides and shaving oars, 
and at daylight we left the Creek, glad to be afloat once more 
in broader water. Going down the stream to the mouth of the 
Ohio was fine sport ; indeed, my partner considered the worst 
of the journey over ; but, alas ! when we turned the point, and 
met the mighty rush of the Mississippi, running three miles an 
hour, and bringing shoals of ice to further impede our progress, 
he looked on despairingly. The patrom ordered the lines 
ashore, and it became the duty of every man 'to haul the 
Cordelia,' which was a rope fastened to the bow of the boat ; 
and one man being left on board to steer, the others, laying the 
rope over their shoulders, slowly warped the heavy boat and 
cargo against the current. We made seven miles that day up 
the famous river. But while I was tugging with my back at 
the Cordelia, I kept my eyes fixed on the forests or the ground, 
looking for birds and curious shells. At night we camped on the 
shores. Here we made fires, cooked supper, and setting one 
sentinel, the rest went to bed and slept like men who had done 
one good day's work. I slept myself as unconcerned as if I had 
been in my own father's house. 

" The next day I was up early, and roused my partner two 
hours before sunrise, and we began to move the boat at about 
one mile an hour against the current. We had a sail on board, 
but the wind was ahead, and we made ten miles that day. We 
made our fires, and I lay down to sleep again in my buffalo 
robes. Two more days of similar toil followed, when the weather 
became severe, and our patrom ordered us to go into winter 
quarters, in the great bend of the Tawapatee Bottom. 

" The sorrows of my partner at this dismal event were too 
great to be described. Wrapped in his blanket, like a squirrel 
in winter quarters with his tail about his nose, he slept and 
dreamed away his time, being seldom seen except at meals. 

" There was not a white man's cabin "within twenty miles, and 
that over a river we could not cross. We cut down trees and 
made a winter camp. But a new field was opened to me, and I 
rambled through the deep forests, and soon became acquainted 
with the Indian trails and the lakes in the neighbourhood. 

The Indians have the instinct or sagacity to discover an en- 
campment of white men almost as quickly as vultures sight the 


carcass of a dead animal ; and I was not long in meeting strol- 
ling natives in the woods. They gradually accumulated, and 
before a week had passed great numbers of these unfortunate 
beings were around us, chiefly Osages and Shawnees. The 
former were well-formed, athletic, and robust men, of a noble 
aspect, and kept aloof from the others. They hunted nothing 
but large game, and the few elks and buffaloes that remained in 
the country. The latter had been more in contact with the 
whites, were much inferior, and killed opossum and wild tur- 
keys for a subsistence. The Osages being a new race to me, I 
went often to their camp, to study their character and habits ; 
but found much difficulty in becoming acquainted with them. 
They spoke no French, and only a few words of English, and 
their general demeanour proved them to be a nobler race. Yet 
they were delighted to see me draw, and when I made a tolerable 
likeness of one of them with red chalk, they cried out with 
astonishment, and laughed excessively. They stood the cold 
much better than the Shawnees, and were much more expert 
with bows and arrows. 

"The bones we threw around our camp attracted many 
wolves, and afforded us much sport in hunting them. Here I 
passed six weeks pleasantly, investigating the habits of wild 
deer, bears, cougars, racoons, and turkeys, and many other 
animals, and I drew more or less by the side of our great camp- 
fire every day ; and no one can have an idea of what a 
good fire is who has never seen a camp-fire in the woods of 
America. Imagine four or five ash-trees, three feet in diameter 
and sixty feet long, cut and piled up, with all their limbs and 
branches, ten feet high, and then a fire kindled on the top with 
brush and dry leaves ; and then under the smoke the party lies 
down and goes to sleep. 

" Here our bread gave out ; and after using the breast of wild 
turkeys for bread, and bear's grease for butter, and eating 
opossum and bear's meat until our stomachs revolted, it was 
decided that a Kentuckian named Pope, our clerk, and a good 
woodsman, should go with me to the nearest settlement and try 
and bring some Indian meal. On the way we saw a herd of 
deer, and turned aside to shoot one ; and having done so, and 
marked the place, we continued our journey. We walked 


until dusk, and no river appeared. Just then I noticed 
an Indian trail, which we supposed led to the river; and 
after following it a short distance, entered the camp we had 
left in the morning. My partner, finding that we had no 
wheaten loaves in our hands, and no bags of meal on our backs, 
said we were boobies ; the boatmen laughed, the Indians joined 
the chorus, and we ate some cold racoon, and stumbled into our 
buffalo robes, and were soon enjoying our sleep. 

" The next day we tried it again, going directly across the bend, 
suffering neither the flocks of turkeys nor the droves of deer we 
saw to turn us aside until we had Cape Girardeau in fuU sight 
an hour before the setting of the sun. The ice was running 
swiftly in the river, and we hailed in vain, for no small boat 
dare put out. An old abandoned log-house stood on our bank, 
and we took lodgings there for the night ; we made a little fire, 
ate a little dried bear's meat we had brought, and slept com- 

" What a different life from the one I am leading now ; and that 
night I wrote in my journal exactly as. I do now; and I recollect 
well that I gathered more information that evening respecting 
the roasting of prairie-hens than I had ever done before or 
since. Daylight returned fair and frosty, the trees covered with 
snow and icicles, shining like jewels as the sun rose on them ; 
and the wild turkeys seemed so dazzled by their brilliancy, that 
they allowed us to pass under them without flying. 

" After a time we saw a canoe picking its way through the 
running ice. Through the messenger who came in the boat we 
obtained, after waiting nearly all day, a barrel of flour, several 
bags of Indian meal, and a few loaves of bread. Having rolled 
the flour to a safe place, slung the meal in a tree, and thrust 
our gun barrels through the loaves of bread, we started for our 
camp, and reached it not long after midnight. Four men were 
sent the next morning with axes to make a sledge, and drag the 
provisions over the snow to the camp. 

" The river, which had been constantly slowly rising, now 
began to fall, and prepared new troubles for us ; for as the water 
fell the ice clung to the shore, and we were forced to keep the 
boat afloat to unload the cargo. This, with the help of all the 
Indian men and women, took two days. We then cut large 


trees, and fastened them to the shore above the boat, so as to 
secure it from the ice which was accumulating, and to save the 
boat from being cut by it. We were now indeed in winter 
quarters, and we made the best of it. The Indians made 
baskets of cane, Mr. Pope played on the violin, I accompanied 
with the flute, the men danced to the tunes, and the squaws 
looked on and laughed, and the hunters smoked their pipes with 
such serenity as only Indians can, and I never regretted 
one day spent there. 

" While our time went pleasantly enough, a sudden and 
startling catastrophe threatened us without warning. The ice 
began to break, and our boat was in instant danger of being cut 
to pieces by the ice-floes, or swamped by their pressure. Eoused 
from our sleep, we rushed down pell-mell to the bank, as if 
attacked by savages, and discovered the ice was breaking up 
rapidly. It split with reports like those of heavy artillery ; and 
as the water had suddenly risen from an overflow of the Ohio, 
the two streams seemed to rush against each other with violence, 
in consequence of which the congealed mass was broken into 
large fragments, some of which rose nearly erect here and 
there, and again fell with thundering crash, as the wounded 
whale, when in the agonies of death, springs up with furious 
force, and again plunges into the foaming waters. To our 
surprise, the weather, which in the evening had been calm^and 
frosty, had become wet and blowy. The water gushed from 
the fissures formed in the ice, and the prospect was extremely 
dismal. When day dawned, a spectacle strange and fearful 
presented itself : the whole mass of water was violently agitated ; 
its covering was broken into small fragments, and although not 
a foot of space was without ice, not a step could the most daring 
have ventured to make upon it. Our boat was in imminent 
danger, for the trees which had been placed to guard it from 
the ice were cut or broken into pieces, and were thrust against 
her. It was impossible to move her; but our pilot ordered 
every man to bring down great bunches of cane, which were 
lashed along her sides ; and before these were destroyed by the 
ice, she was afloat, and riding above it. While we were gazing 
on the scene, a tremendous crash was heard, which seemed to 
have taken place about a mile below, when suddenly the great 


dam of ice gave way. The current of the Mississippi had forced 
its way against that of the Ohio ; and in less than four hours 
we witnessed the complete breaking up of the ice. 

" During that winter the ice was so thick, the patrom said we 
might venture to start. The cargo was soon on board, and the 
camp given up to the Indians, after bidding mutual adieus, as 
when brothers part. The navigation was now of the most 
dangerous kind ; the boat was pushed by long poles on the ice, 
and against the bottom when it could be touched, and we moved 
extremely slowly. The ice was higher than our heads, and I 
frequently thought, that if a sudden thaw should take place we 
should be in great peril ; but fortunately all this was escaped, 
and we reached safely the femous cape. 

" But the village was small, and no market for us, and we 
determined to push up to St. Genevieve, and once more were in 
motion between the ice. We arrived in a few days at the 
grand tower, where an immense rock in the stream makes the 
navigation dangerous. Here we used our cordellas, and with 
great difficulty and peril passed it safely. It was near this 
famous tower of granite that I first saw the great eagle that I 
have named after our good and great General Washington. The 
weather continued favourable, and we arrived in safety at 
St. Genevieve, and found a favourable market. Our whisky 
was especially welcome, and what we had paid twenty-five cents 
a gallon for, brought us two dollars. St. Genevieve was then an 
old French town, twenty miles below St. Louis, not so large as 
dirty, and I was not half so pleased with the time spent there 
as with that spent in the Tawapatee Bottom. Here I met with 
the Frenchman who accompanied Lewis and Clark to the 
Eocky Mountains. They had just returned, and I was delighted 
to learn from them many particulars of their interesting 




Audubon finds Genevieve Unsuitable — Eetuen Joubney to Hbndebson- 
viLLE — Terrible Adventure on the Pbaibie — Narrow Escape from 
Assassination — Regulator Law in the West — The SnooT-iNa op 
Mason — Lynching a Eogue — Earthquakes in Kentucky — A Terri- 
fied Horse — A Marriage Party in a Plight — A Peantic Doctor. 

Audubon soon discovered that Grenevieve was no pleasant 
place to live in. Its population were mostly low-bred French 
Canadians, for whose company, notwithstanding certain national 
sympathies, he had no liking. He wearied to be back at 
Hendersonville beside his young vnfe. Hosier got married at 
Genevieve, and to him Audubon sold his interest in the business. 
The naturalist purchased a horse, bade adieu to his partner, 
to the society of Genevieve, and started homeward across the 
country. During this journey Audubon met with a terrible ad- 
venture, and made a miraculous escape from impending death. 
This episode in Audubon's life is related by him in the following 
words : — 

" On my return from the upper Mississippi, I found myself 
obliged to cross one of the wide prairies, which, in that portion 
of the United States, vary the appearance of- the country. The 
weather was fine, all around me was as fresh and blooming as if 
it had just issued from the bosom of nature. My knapsack, my 
gun, and my dog, were all I had for baggage and company. 
But, although well moccassined, I moved slowly along, attracted 
by the brilliancy of the flowers, and the gambols of the fawns 
around their dams, to all appearance as thoughtless of danger 
as I felt myself. 


" My inarch was of long duration. I saw the sun sinking 
beneath the horizon Iqng before I could perceive any appear- 
ance of woodlands, and nothing in the shape of man had I met 
with that day. The track which I followed was only an old 
Indian trail, and as darkness overshadowed the prairie, I felt 
some desire to reach at least a copse, in which I might lie down 
to rest. The night-hawks were skimming over and around me, 
attracted by the buzzing wings of the beetles which form their 
food, and the distant howling of the wolves gave me some hope 
that I should soon arrive at the skirts of some woodland. 

" I did so, and almost at the same instant a fire-light attract- 
ing my eye, I moved towards it, full of confidence that it 
proceeded from the camp of some wandering Indians. I was 
mistaken. I discovered by its glare that it was from the hearth 
of a small log cabin, and that a tall figure passed and repassed 
between it and me, as if busily engaged in household arrange- 

" I reached the spot, and. presenting myself at the door, 
asked the tall figure, which proved to be a woman, if I might 
take shelter under her roof for the night ? Her voice was gruff, 
and her dress negligently thrown about her. She answered in 
the affirmative. I walked in, took a wooden stool, and quietly 
seated myself by the fire. The next object that attracted my 
notice was a finely-formed young Indian, resting his head 
between his hands, with his elbows on his knees. A long bow 
rested against the log wall near him, while a quantity of arrows 
and two or three racoon skins lay at his feet. He moved not ; 
he apparently breathed not. Accustomed to the habits of the 
Indians, and knowing that they pay little attention to the 
approach of civilised strangers, I addressed hiin in French, a 
language not unfrequently partially known to the people of 
that neighbourhood. He raised his head, pointed to one of his 
eyes with his finger, and gave me a significant glance with the 
other ; his face was covered with blood. 

" The fact was, that an hour before this, as he was in the act 
of discharging an arrow at a racoon in the top of a tree, the 
arrow had split upon the cord, and sprung back with such 
violence into his right eye as to destroy it for ever. 

"Feeling hungry, I inquired what sort of fare I might expect. 

D 2 


Such a thing as a bed was not to be seen, but many large 
untanned bear and buffalo hides lay piled in a corner. I drew a 
time-piece from my pocket, and told the woman that it was 
late, and that I was fatigued. She espied my watch, the 
richness of which seemed to operate on her feelings with 
electric quickness. She told me there was plenty of venison 
and jerked buffalo meat, and that on removing the ashes I 
should find a cake. But my watch had struck her fancy, and 
her curiosity had to be gratified by an immediate sight of it. 
I took off the gold chain which secured it around my neck, and 
presented it to her. She was all ecstasy, spoke of its beauty, 
asked me its value, and put the chain round her brawny neck, 
saying how happy the possession of such a watch would ma^ke 
her. Thoughtless, and, as I fancied myself, in so retired a spot, 
secure, I paid little attention to her talk or her movements. I 
helped my dog to a good supper of venison, and was not long in 
satisfying the demands of my own appetite. 

"The Indian rose from his seat as if in extreme suffering. He 
passed and repassed me several times, and once pinched me on 
the side so violently, that the pain nearly brought forth an 
exclamation of anger. I looked at him, his eye met mine, but 
his look was so forbidding, that it struck a chill into the more 
nervous part of my system. He again seated himself, drew his 
butcher-knife from its greasy scabbard, examined its edge, as I 
would do that of a razor suspected dull, replaced it, and again 
taking his tomahawk from his back, filled the pipe of it with 
tobacco, and sent me expressive glances whenever our hostess 
chanced to have her back towards us. 

"Never until that moment had my senses been awakened to 
the danger which I now suspected to be about me. I returned 
glance for glance to my companion, and rested well assured 
that, whatever enemies I might have, he was not of their 

" I asked the woman for my watch, wound it up, and under 
pretence of wishing to see how the weather might probably 
be on the morrow, took up my gun, and walked out of the 
cabin. I slipped a ball into each barrel, scraped the edges of my 
flints, renewed the primings, and returning to the hut, gave a 
favourable account of my observations. I took a few bear-skins 


made a pallet of them, and calling my faithful dog to my side, 
lay down, with my gun close to my body, and in a few minutes 
was to all appearance fast asleep. 

"A short time had elapsed when some voices were heard, 
and from the corner of my eyes I saw two athletic youths 
making their entrance, bearing a dead stag on a pole. They 
disposed of their burden, and asking for whisky, helped them- 
selves freely to it. Observing me and the wounded Indian, 
they asked who I was, and why the devil that rascal (meaning 
the Indian, who, they knew, understood not a word of English) was 
in the house ? The mother, for so she proved to be, bade them 
speak less loudly, made mention of my watch, and took them 
to a corner, where a conversation took place, the purport of 
which it required little shrewdness in me to guess. I tapped 
my dog gently, he moved his tail, and with indescribable 
pleasure I saw his fine eyes alternately fixed on me and raised 
towards the trio in the corner. I felt that he perceived danger 
in my situation. The Indian exchanged the last glance with 

" The lads had eaten and drunk themselves into such condition 
that I already looked upon them as hors de comhai ; and the 
frequent visits of the whisky bottle to the ugly mouth of their 
dam, I hoped would soon reduce her to a like state. Judge of 
my astonishment when I saw this incarnate fiend take a large ■ 
carving-knife, and go to the grindstone to whet its edge. I 
saw her pour the water on the turning machine, and watched 
her working away with the dangerous instrument, until the 
cold sweat covered every part of my body, in despite of my 
determination to defend myself to the last. Her task finished, 
she walked to her reeling sons, and said, ' There, that'll soon 
settle him ! Boys, kill yon , and then for the watch !' 

" I turned, cocked my gun-locks silently, touched my faithful 
companion, and lay ready to start up and shoot the first who 
might attempt my life. The moment was fast approaching, 
and that night might have been my last in this world, had not 
Providence made provision for my rescue. AJl was ready. The 
infernal hag was advancing slowly, probably contemplating the 
best way of despatching me whilst her sons should be engaged 
with the Indian. I was several times on the eve of rising, and 


shooting her on the spot, but she was not to be punished thus 
The door was suddenly opened, and there entered two stout 
travellers, each with a long rifle on his shoulder. I bounced 
up on my feet, and making them most heartily welcome, told 
them how well it was for me that they should have arrived at 
that moment. The tale was told in a minute. The drunken 
sons were secured, and the woman, in spite of her defence and 
vociferations, shared the same fate. The Indian fairly danced 
with joy, and gave us to understand that, as he could not sleep 
for pain, he would watch over us. You may suppose we slept 
much less, than we talked. The two strangers gave me au 
account of their once having been themselves in a similar 
situation. Day came fair and rosy, and with it the punishment 
of our captives. 

"They were quite sobered. Their feet were unbound, but 
their arms were still securely tied. We marched them into the 
woods off the road, and having used them as Eegulators were 
wont to use such delinquents, we set fire to the cabin, gave aU 
the skins and implements to the young Indian warrior, and 
proceeded, well pleased, towards the settlements." 

At the period at which this incident occurred "Kegulator 
Law " was the high tribunal in the Western States. A savage 
and outcast population fringed the settled territories, and 
among these the most dastardly crimes were current. " Kegu- 
lator Law " was administered by a body of American citizens, 
and was akin to a Vigilance Committee in its self-assumed 
functions. The punishment of felons, who could defy or were 
likely to escape the law of the land, was the special duty of the 
Eegulators, and the name acquired a terrible significance in the 
western wilds. Audubon relates that a notorious freebooter, 
named Mason, frequented Wolfs Island in the Mississippi, and 
with a gang of marauders played pirate with impunity in that 
river. He stripped the laden barges of all the valuables, stole 
horses, and proved himself to be beyond the reach of the law. 
A party of Eegulators descended the river, but failed to find him. 
Finally, he was shot through the ready wit of one man. This 
Regulator met the ruffian in the forest, and, unsuspected, turned 
after him and dogged his steps. Mason retired to a quiet dell, 
hobbled his horse to prevent it escaping, and crept into a hollow 


tree. The Regulator went off for assistance to the nearest place, 
and returning with armed men, the plunderer was shot down, 
and his severed head was stuck on a pole hard by, to deter 
others from following the same life. The punishment adjudged 
by these Eegulators was mercifully apportioned to the crimes of 
the evildoers; but Audubon relates a rather severe sentence 
passed upon one who was neither thief nor murderer. 

" The culprit," says Audubon, " was taken to a place where 
nettles were known to grow in great abundance, completely 
stripped, and so lashed with them, that although not materially 
hurt, he took it as a hint not to be neglected, left the country, 
and was never again heard of by any of the party concerned." 

In November, 1812, soon after his father's return to Hender- 
sonviUe, Audubon's second son, John Woodhouse, was born. 
John.Woodhouse and his only brother, Victor, were destined to 
become companions of their father in his hunting expeditions, 
and were afterwards able to assist materially in collecting and 
drawing birds for the great work. 

A few weeks after Audubon's return to Hendersonville, the 
western section of the state of Kentucky and the banks of the 
Mississippi suffered from a very severe shock of earthquake. In 
the month of November, the naturalist was riding along on 
horseback, when he heard what he imagined to be the distant 
rumbling of a violent tornado. " On which," says he, " I 
spurred my steed, with a wish' to gallop as fast as possible to 
the place of shelter. But it would not do ; the animal knew 
better than I what was forthcoming, and instead of going faster, 
so nearly stopped, that I remarked he placed one foot after 
another on the ground with as much precaution as if walking 
on a smooth sheet of ice. I thought he had suddenly foundered, 
and, speaking to him, was on the point of dismounting and 
leading him, when he all of a sudden fell a groaning piteously, 
iung his head, spread out his four legs, as if to save himself 
from falling, and stood stock still, continuing to groan. I 
thought my horse was about to die, and would have sprung from 
his back had a minute more elapsed ; but at that instant all the 
shrubs and trees began to move from their very roots, the 
ground rose and fell in successive furrows, like the ruffed waters 
of a lake, and I became bewildered in my ideas, as I too plainly 


discovered that all this awful commotion in nature was the 
result of an earthquake. 

"I had never witnessed anything of the kind before, although, 
like every other person, I knew of earthquakes by description. 
But what is description compared with reality ? Who can tell 
of the sensations which I experienced when I found myself 
rocking, as it were, upon my horse, and with him moved to and 
fro like a child in a cradle, with the most imminent danger 
around me ? The fearful convulsion, however, lasted only a few 
minutes, and the heavens again brightened as quickly as they 
had become obscured ; my horse brought his feet to the natural 
position, raised his head, and galloped off as if loose and frolick- 
ing without a rider. 

" I was not, however, without great apprehension respecting 
my family, from which I was many miles distant, fearful that 
where they were the shock might have caused greater havoc 
than I had witnessed. I gave the bridle to my steed, and was 
glad to see him appear as anxious to get home as myself. The 
pace at which he galloped accomplished this sooner than I had 
expected, and I found, with much pleasure, that hardly any 
greater harm had taken place than the apprehension excited 
for my own safety. Shock succeeded shock almost every day 
or night for several weeks, diminishing however, so gradually, 
as to dwindle away into mere vibrations of the earth. Strange 
to say, I for one became so accustomed to the feeling, as rather 
to enjoy the fears manifested by others. I never can forget the 
effects of one of the sKghter shocks which took place when I was 
at a friend's house, where I had gone to enjoy the merriment 
that in our western country attends a wedding. The ceremony 
being performed, supper over, and the fiddles tuned, dancing 
became the order of the moment. This was merrily followed 
up to a late hour, when the party retired to rest. We were in 
what is called, with great propriety, a log-house ; one of large 
dimensions, and solidly constructed. The owner was a physi- 
cian, and in one corner were not only his lancets, tourniquets, 
amputating knives, and other sanguinary apparatus, but all the 
drugs which he employed for the relief of his patients, arranged 
in jars and phials of different sizes. These had some days 
before made a narrow escape from destruction, but had been 


fortunately preserved by closing the doors of the cases in which 
they were contained. 

" As I have said, we had all retired to rest. Morning was fast 
approaching, when the rumbling noise that precedes the earth- 
quake began so loudly, as to awaken the whole party, and drive 
them out of bed in the greatest consternation. The scene which 
ensued was humorous in the extreme. Fear knows no restraint. 
Every person, old and young, filled with alarm at the creaking 
of the log-house, and apprehending instant destruction, rushed 
wildly out to the grass enclosure fronting the building. The 
full moon was slowly descending from her throne, covered at 
times by clouds that rolled heavily along, as if to conceal from 
her view the scenes of terror which prevailed on earth below. 

" On the grass plot we all met, in such condition as rendered it 
next to impossible to discriminate any of the party, all huddled 
together in a state of almost perfect nudity. The earth waved 
like a field of corn before the breeze; the birds left their 
perches, and flew about not knowing whither ; and the doctor, 
recollecting the danger of his gallipots, ran to his office, to pre- 
vent their dancing off the shelves to the floor. Never for a 
moment did he think of closing the doors, but, spreading his 
arms, jumped about the front of the cases, pushing back here 
and there the falling jars, but with so little success, that before 
the shock was over he had lost nearly all he possessed. 

" The shock at length ceased, and the frightened females, now 
sensible of their dishabille, fled to their several apartments. The 
earthquakes produced more serious consequences in other 
places. Near New Madrid, and for some distance on the 
Mississippi, the earth was rent asunder in several places, one or 
two islands sunk for ever, and the inhabitants who escaped fled 
in dismay towards the eastern shores." 



Audubon Suppbbs from new Misfortunes — Seventeen Thousand Dol- 
lars Lost — Transfers his Father's Property to his Sister — 
Starts in Business at Hendersonvillb, and Succeeds — Refuses a 
Commission in an Expedition to South America — Naekow Escape 


— Moves to Louisville -t-Commences to Draw Portraits — Engage- 
ment AT Cincinnati Museum. 

WuiLE resident at Hendersonville, Audubon entered upon a 
new adventure with his brother-in-law to carry on business at 
New Orleans, under the firm of " Audubon & Co." In this 
speculation he embarked all the fortune at his disposal; but 
instead of attending to his interests he remained hunting in 
Kentucky, and soon afterwards was informed that all his money 
had been swept away in business misadventures. 

At this juncture the father of Audubon died ; but from some 
unfortunate cause he did not receive legal notice for more than 
a year. On becoming acquainted with the fact he travelled to 
Philadelphia to obtain funds, but was unsuccessful. His father 
had left him his property in France of La Gubitiere, and 
seventeen thousand dollars which had been deposited with a 
merchant in Richmond, Virginia. Audubon; however, took no 
steps to obtain possession of his estate in France, and in after 
years, when his sons had grown up, sent one of them to France, 
for the purpose of legally transferring the property to his own 
sister Rosa. The merchant who held possession of the seventeen 
thousand dollars would not deliver them up until Audubon 
proved himself to be the son of Captain Audubon. Before this 
could be done the merchant died insolvent, and the legatee never 


recovered a dollar of his money. Eeturning from Philadelphia to 
Hendersonville, the unfortunate Audubon cheerfully endeavoured 
to provide for the future, about which he felt considerable 
anxiety. Gathering a few hundred dollars, he purchased some 
goods in LouisviUe, and returned to business in Hendersonville. 
In his journey he met with General Toledo, who was raising 
volunteers to go to South America, and who offered him a 
colonel's commission in the adventure. Audubon, however, 
preferred remaining at home The business prospered ; he pur- 
chased land and a log cabin, with a family of negi-oes thereto, 
and seemed to settle down comfortable. At this period, how- 
ever, his career was nearly brought to a conclusion. A ruffian, 
who objected to his treatment in some business transactions, 
attacked him with a bludgeon while he was suffering from a 
disabled hand. Drawing a dagger, Audubon stabbed his assailant, 
whose friends immediately demanded vengeance. Finding, how- 
ever, that a superior party rallied round the naturalist, the 
expected fight was avoided. 

The prosperous career of Audubon was prematurely closed by 
the arrival of a former partner, who joined him, and whose 
presence seemed to herald disaster. This partner advised 
him to erect a steam mill at Hendersonville, a place which 
was totally unfitted for any such speculation. An English- 
man, named Thomas Pease, joined in partnership, and having 
lost his money in an absurd project, separated from Audubon on 
no pleasant terms. In order to carry on the mill with renewed 
vigour, other partners were added ; and in connection with it 
Mr. Apperson was established at Shawnee Town, Mr. Benjamin 
Harrison at Vincennes in Indiana, and Nathaniel Pope, an old 
clerk of Audubon's, on the Mississippi river. All of these parties 
failed in supporting the concern at Hendersonville, which was 
only continued through the desperate measure of taking in still 
more partners. Finally, the mill went down, after ruining all 
concerned. The naturalist speaks with bitterness of the " infernal 
mill," and in an equally fierce strain of a steamer purchased by 
the concern, and afterwards sold to a party down the Mississippi, 
who cheated the sellers out of most of the purchase money. 
From this date his difficulties appeared to increase daily ; bills 
fell due, and unmeasured vexations assailed him. He handed 


over all he possessed, and left Hendersonville with his sick wife, 
his gun, his dog, and his drawings, — but without feeling really- 
depressed at his prospects. The family reached Louisville, 
where they were kindly received by a relative, and Audubon had 
time to think over some scheme for raising support for his 
family. Possessed of considerable skiU as an artist in crayons, 
he conceived the project of starting as a portrait draughtsman. 
As he started at very low prices, his skiU soon became known, 
and in a few weeks he had as much work as he could do. His 
family were settled with him, and his business spread so far 
into Kentucky, that afQuence was again enjoyed by the wanderer. 
Audubon succeeded so well in portraying the features of the 
dead, that a clergyman's child was exhumed in order that the artist 
might have an opportunity of taking a portrait of the corpse. 

In illustration of his reputation as a crayon drawer, Audubon 
relates that a settler came for him in the middle of the night 
from a considerable distance, to have the portrait of his mother 
taken while she was on the eve of death. Audubon went with 
the fariBer in his waggon, and with the aid of a candle made a 
sketch which the artist pertly remarks might have done credit 
to Eembrandt. This success brought other successes, and the 
portrait painter seemed to .have got a new start in life. Shortly 
afterwards he received an invitation to become a cui*ator of 
the museum at Cincinnati, and for the preparation of birds 
received a liberal remuneration. In conjunction with this 
situation he opened a drawing school in the same city, and 
obtained from this employment additional emolument sufficient 
to support his family comfortably. His teaching succeeded well 
until several of his pupils started on their own account. The 
work at the museum having been finished, Audubon fell back 
upon his portrait painting and such resources as his genius could 
command. Applying for assistance to an old friend whom he 
had aided and assisted into business, the ungrateful wretch 
declared he would do nothing for his benefactor, and further 
added that he would not even recommend one who had such 
wandering habits. On more occasions than this his genius for 
discovery was made an argument against him. He was ever a 
wanderer at heart, and showed the weaker and sillier side of his 
nature whenever he shaped himself to civilized society. 


Eambles in Kentitoky — A Gafq of WooDctJTTBKS — Clevee Workmen 
— The Flight of the Thieves — ^Escape from Capture— Migrations 
INTO THE Wilds op Kentucky — Aek Voyages on the Eivers — • 
Hazards from Indians — Eifle SaooTrNa — Deiying Nails with 
Bullets — Daniel Boon " Barking Squierbls " — Snuffing Candles. 

During his residence in Kentucky, Audubon spent all his leisure 
time in rambles through the wilds in search of natural history- 
specimens. A variety of amusing incidents occurred in these 
travels, and the wanderer has given several of these in a full 
and connected form. His ready gun supplied abundant fare to 
his homely table. Wild turkeys, deer, and bears, supplied con- 
stant wants, after a fashion that suited the hunter well. While 
resident there, a flat boat reached the shore, containing ten or 
twelve stout fellows with their wives, and declaring themselves 
to be " Yankees," asked for work as woodcutters. Audubon, 
thinking that the boat contained wheat, held parley with the 
occupants, and finding that they were " likely " fellows, proposed 
to engage them to cut down a government lot of one thousand 
two hundred acres of fine timber he had purchased. The wood- 
cutters made fast their craft to the bank, started a camp on 
shore, and, with their wives, managed to cook their meals out 
of the game supplied by the forest. Audubon and his miller 
visited the camp in the morning, was rather pleased with the 
appearance of the fellows, and engaged the gang. Commencing 
work, they soon showed their excellent training, felling the 
trees after the fashion of experienced woodmen. The daily and 


weekly allowance of wood contracted for was safely delivered, 
and Audubon had reason to feel mucli contentment with his 
servants. The miller was satisfied; and the master, to prove 
his appreciation of the valuable services, sent various presents 
of game and provisions to the strangers. Finding they had 
neglected to forward their usual supply one day, Audubon went 
off to their camp, found that the " Yankees " had gone off bodily, 
had taken his draught oxen with them, and had harried the 
place of all that could be lifted. He and his miller hunted 
down the river for the fugitives, but they had got a start and 
were not to be caught. Finding an escape into the Mississippi, 
the runaways voyaged out of reach of their victim, and a rare 
accident alone placed one of them within Audubon's power. 
While on board a Mississippi steamer, Audubon saw a hunter 
leave the shore in a canoe and reach the steamer. No sooner had 
the passenger reached the deck, than he recognized in him one 
of his plunderers ; but the woodcutter, fearing an arrest, leaped 
into the stream and swam towards Ihe shore. Entering a cane- 
brake, he was lost to sight, and the naturalist was never gratified 
by either hearing of, or seeing any one of the fellows again. 

In referring to Kentuckian sports, Audubon remarks that that 
state was a sort of promised land for all sorts of wandering 
adventurers from the eastern states. Families cast loose from 
their homesteads beyond the mountains wandered westward 
with their waggons, servants, cattle, and household gods. 
Bivouacking by some spring, in a glade of the primeval forest, 
near some well known " salt lick," where game would be plentiful, 
these western representatives of the patriarchs moved on towards 
new resting-places, from which the red man, not without serious 
danger, had been driven. When a voyage by water was 
meditated as the easiest means of transporting the family and 
the baggage, a group of emigrants would build an ark on some 
creek of the upper waters of the Ohio, and in a craft forty or 
fifty feet long drift down the stream, carrying upon the roof 
the bodies of carts and waggons, upon the sides the wheels of 
the same. 

Within these floating mansions the wayfarers lived, not 
without fear of impending dangers. To show a light through 
the loopholes within range of a redskin's rifle was certain death 


to the inmate; and night and day, while these arks drifted 
Tinder umbrageous forests, their occupants were busy considering 
how their lives might be most dearly sold. Audubon notices 
curious practices connected with testing the skill of marksmen, not 
uncommon in his own time in Virginia. " At stated times, those 
desiring a trial of skill would be assembled," writes the natu- 
ralist, " and betting a trifling sum, put up a target, in the centre 
of which a common-sized nail is hammered for about two-thirds 
of its length. The marksmen make choice of what they con- 
sider a proper distance, which may be forty paces. Each man 
cleans the interior of his barrel, which is called wiping it, 
places a ball in the palm of his hand, pouring as much powder 
from his horn upon it as will cover it. This quantity is sup- 
posed to be suEficient for any distance within a hundred yards. 
A shot which comes very close to the nail is considered that of 
an indifferent marksman ; the bending of the nail is, of course 
somewhat better ; but nothing less than hitting it right on the 
head is satisfactory. One out of three shots generally hits the 
nail, and should the shooters amount to half-a-dozen, two nails 
are frequently needed before each can have a shot. Those who 
drive the nail have a further trial amongst themselves, and the 
two best shots out of these generally settle the affair,; when 
aU the sportsmen adjourn to some house, and spend an hour or 
two in friendly intercourse, appointing, before they part, a day 
for another trial." 

While at the town of Frankfort, Audubon had an opportunity 
of seeing the celebrated Daniel Boon " barking squirrels," or, in 
less technical phrase, striking them out of their hiding-places by 
firing into the bark of the tree immediately beside the position 
they crouch into. Audubon went out with Boon to see the 
sport, and writes : — 

" We walked out together, and followed the rocky margins of 
the Kentucky river until we reached a piece of flat land thickly 
covered with black walnuts, oaks, and hickories. As the mast 
was a good one that year, squirrels were seen gamboling on 
every tree around us. My companion, a stout, hale, and athletic 
man, dressed in a homespun hunting shirt, bare-legged and 
moccasined, carried a long and heavy rifle, which, as he was 
loading it, he said had proved eflicient in all his former under- 


takings, and which he hoped would not fail on this occasion, as 
he felt proud to show me his skill. The gun was wiped, the 
powder measured, the ball patched with six-hundred-thread 
Hnen, and the charge sent home with a hickory rod. We moved 
not a step from the place, for the squirrels were so numerous 
that it was unnecessary to go after them. Boon pointed to one 
of these animals which had observed us, and was crouched on a 
branch about fifty paces distant, and bade me mark well the 
spot where the ball should hit. He raised his piece gradually, 
until the bead (that being the name given by the Kentuckians 
to the sight) of the barrel was brought to a line with the spot 
which he intended to hit, atfd fired. 

" I was astounded to find that the ball had hit the piece of the 
bark immediately beneath the squirrel, and shivered it into 
splinters ; the concussion produced by which Jbad killed the 
animal, and sent it whirling through the air, as if it had been 
blown up. 

" The snuffing of a candle with a ball I first had an oppor- 
tunity of seeing near the banks of Green Kiver, not far from a 
large pigeon roost, to which I had previously made a visit. I 
heard many reports of guns during the early part of a dark 
night, and knowing them "to be those of rifles, I went towards 
the spot to ascertain the cause. On reaching the place,, I was 
welcomed by a dozen of tall stout men, who told me they were 
exercising for the purpose of enabling them to shoot under 
night at the reflected light from the eye of a deer or wolf by 

" At a distance of fifty paces stood a lighted candle, barely 
distinguishable in the darkness. One man was placed within 
a few yards of it, to watch the effects of the shots, as well as to 
light the candle, should it • chance to go out, or to repair it, 
should the shot cut it across. Each marksman shot in his turn. 
Some never hit either the snuff or the candle. One of them, 
who was particularly expert, was veiy fortunate, and snuffed 
the candle three times out of seven, whilst all the other shots 
either put out the candle, or cut it immediately under the 


The National Jubilee of 4th of July — Festivities on Beabgrass 
Ckbek — A Maple Suqae Camp — Wild Scenes in the Woods — 
Hunting the Eacoon — Peepabations fob the Hunt — Success of 
the Huntbbs — Felling Tebes to find G-ame. 

DuKiNG his residence in Kentucky, Audubon had frequent 
opportunities of joining in the great American festival of the 
4th July. The particular occasion he describes as a " Kentucky 
Barbiere," and instances a very delightful jubilee held on 
the Beargrass Greek, at which all the settlers, with their wives 
and families, assisted. The festival was held in a forest glade 
by the river's side: the company arrived in their waggons, 
bringing provisions of every kind, such fruits as the country 
afforded, wine, and " Old Monongahela " whisky. When the 
company had assembled, an immense cannon, built of wood 
hooped with iron, and lighted by a train, was fired, after which 
orations were made by various oracles. The good things 
provided were then largely enjoyed, after which dancing was 
indulged in with an enthusiasm suitable to such an occasion. 
Music was provided by various amateurs, and the fun was only 
closed by a ride home in the starlight. 

" A maple sugar camp " was always a pleasant refuge to 
Audubon while wandering in the woods. He describes the 
wild appearance these camps presented when suddenly reached 
in the darkness, afar in the woodland solitudes, and only 
heralded by the snarling of curs and the bowlings of the sugar- 


Huge log fires, over which the sugar caldrons were boiled, 
gave the appearance of a witch incantation to a spectacle in 
which picturesquely-dressed Indians, rough backwoodsmen, and 
their strangely-dressed wives and children took part. Raised 
on a few stones placed around the fires, the sugar kettles were 
constantly tended by the women, while tlie men " bled " the 
sugar maple trees, stuck into the wounds they made, cane pipes, 
which drained the juice, and collected the maple sap into 
vessels made by splitting up a " yellow poplar " into juice 
troughs. Ten gallons of sap are required to make one pound 
of fine-grained sugar, which in some instances is equal to the 
finest make of candy. Such sugar sold in Kentucky, in the 
time of Audubon, for as much as a dozen cents in scarce 

Eacoon hunting was a pastime much enjoyed by Audubon, 
and he has left plentiful records of his enjoyment of the 
sport. He describes the hunter's visit to a homestead, and 
the preparations for a racoon hunt. The cost of ammunition 
was so considerable in the west, while the naturalist roved 
about, that the axe was reckoned a cheaper implement than the 
rifle to secure the prey. From the naturalist's journal the 
following description is given, inspired by the writer's own 
peculiar enthusiasm. The cabin is made comfortable by a huge 
pile of logs laid across the fire ; the sweet potatoes are roasted 
in the ashes; and when aU is ready the hunters begin their 

" The hunter has taken an axe from the wood pile, and 
returning, assures us that the night is clear, and that we shall 
have rare sport. He blows through his rifle, to ascertain that 
it is clear, examines his flint, and thrusts a feather into the 
touchhole. To a leathern bag swung at his side is attached a 
powder-horn ; his sheathed knife is there also ; below hangs a 
narrow strip of home-spun linen. He takes from his bag a 
bullet, pulls with his teeth the wooden stopper from his powder- 
horn, lays the ball on one hand, and with the other pours the 
powder upon it, until it is just overtopped. Eaising the horn 
to his mouth, he again closes it with the stopper, and restores 
it to its place. He introduces the powder into the tube, springs 
the box of his gun, greases the 'patch' over some melted 


tallow, or damps it, then places it on the honeycombed muzzle 
of his piece. The bullet is placed on the patch over tho bore, 
and pressed .with the handle of the knife, which now trims the 
edges of the linen. The elastic hickory rod, held with both 
hands, smoothly pushes the ball to its bed ; once, twice, thrice 
has it rebounded. The rifle leaps as it were into the hunter's 
arms, the feather is drawn from the touehhole, the powder fills 
the pan, which is closed. ' Now I am ready,' cries the woods- 
man. A servant lights a torch, and off we march to the woods. 
' FoUow me close, for the ground is covered with logs, and the 
grape vines hang everywhere across. Toby, hold up the light, 
man, or we'll never see the gullies. TraU your gun, sir, as 
General Clark used to say — not so, but this way — that's it. 
Now then, no danger you see ; no fear of snakes, poor things ! 
They are stiff enough, I'U be bound. The dogs have treed one. 
Toby, you old fool, why don't you turn to the right ? — not so 
much. There, go ahead and give us a light. What's that? 
who's there ? Ah ! you young rascals ! you've played us a 
trick, have you. It's all well enough, but now, just keep behind 

or I'll ' In fact, the boys with eyes good enough to see in 

the dark, although not quite so well as an owl, had cut directly 
across to the dogs, which had surprised a racoon on the ground, 
and bayed it, until the lads knocked it on the head. ' Seek 
him, boys !' cries the hunter. The dogs, putting their noses to 
the ground, pushed off at a good rate. ' Master, they're making 
for the creek,' says old Toby. On towards it therefore we push. 
What woods, to be sure ! We are now in a low flat covered with 
beech trees. 

" The racoon was discovered swimming in a pool. The glare 
of the lighted torch was doubtless distressing to him ; his coat 
was ruffled, and his rounded tail seemed thrice its ordinary 
size ; his eyes shone like emeralds ; with foaming jaws he watched 
the dogs, ready to seize each by the snout if it came within 
reach. They kept him busy for some minutes; the water 
became thick with mud ; his coat now hung dripping, and his 
draggled tail lay floating on the surface. His guttural growl- 
ings, in place of intimidating his assailaints, excited them the 
more, and they very unceremoniously closed upon him. One seized 
him by the rump and tugged, but was soon forced tp let go ; 

-E 2 


another stuck to his side, but s'oon taking a better-directed bite 
of his muzzle, the coon's fate was sealed. He was knocked on 
the head, and Toby remarks, ' That's another half dellar's worth,' 
as he handles the thick fur of the prey. The dogs are again 
found looking up into a tree and barking furiously. The 
hunters employ their axes, and send the chips about. 

" The tree began to crack, and slowly leaning to one side, the 
heavy mass swung rustling through the air, and fell to the earth 
with a crash. It was not one coon that was surprised here, but 
three, one of which, more crafty than the rest, leaped from the 
top while the tree was staggering. The other two stuck to the 
hollow of a branch, from which they were soon driven by one of 
the dogs. Tyke and Lion having nosed the cunning old one, 
scampered after him. He is brought to bay, and a rifle bullet 
is sent through his head. The other two are secured after a 
desperate conflict, and the hunters, with their bags full, return 
to the cabin." 


Visit feom the Eccentric Nattjbalist, EArnjESQUB — His Dklieium 
AT Discovering a New Plant — Smashes a Piddle, trtino to 
Captdre 'Bats — Dbeadeul Journey through .a Cane-Bbakb — 
Alarm, at a Bear — The Naturalist Absconds — Daniel Boon, the 
Famous Hunter — Captured by Indians — Miraculous Escape — 
Boon's Ash Tree. 

While resident in Kentucky, Audubon was visited by the 
eccentric naturalist, Eafinesque, whose manner of life, dress, and 
oddities of conduct appeared to have greatly amused even one so 
little attentive to formalities as the ornithologist. The stranger 
reached the banks of the Ohio in a boat, and carrying on his 
back a bundle of plants which resembled dried clover. He 
-accidentally addressed Audubon, and asked where the naturalist 
lived. Audubon introduced himself, and was handed a letter of 
introduction by the stranger, in which the writer begged to 
recommend " an odd fish," which might not have been described 
in published treatises. Audubon innocently asked where the 
odd fish was, which led to a pleasant explanation and a com- 
plete understanding between the two naturalists. 

" I presented my learned guest to my family," writes Audubon, 
" and was ordering a servant to go to the boat for my friend's 
luggage, when he told me he had none but what he brought on 
his back. He then loosened the pack of weeds which had first 
drawn my attention. The naturalist pulled off his shoes, and 
while engaged in drawing his stockings down to hide the holes 
in his heels, he explained that his apparel had suffered from 
his journey." 

This eccentric's habits were neither tidy nor cleanly. He 


would hardly perform needful ablutions, and refused a change 
of clean clothing, suggested as being more comfortable. " His 
attire," remarks Audubon, " struck me as exceedingly remark- 
able. A long loose coat of yellow nankeen, much the worse for 
the many rubs it had got in its time, and stained all over with 
the juice of plants, hung loosely about him like a sack. A 
waistcoat of the same, with enormous pockets, and buttoned up 
to the chin, reached below over a pair of tight pantaloons, the 
lower part of which were buttoned down to the ankles. His 
beard was as long as I have known my own to be during some 
of my peregrinations, and his lank black hair hung loosely over 
his shoulders. His forehead was so broad and prominent that 
any tyro in phrenology would instantly have pronounced it the 
residence of a mind of strong powers. His words impressed an 
assurance of rigid truth, and as he directed the conversation to 
the study of the natural sciences, I listened to him with great 
delight. He requested to see my drawings, anxious to see the 
plants I had introduced besides the birds I had drawn. Finding 
a strange plant among my drawings, he denied its authenticity ; 
but on my assuring him that it grew in the neighbourhood, he 
insisted on going off instantly to see it. 

" When I pointed it out the naturalist lost all command over 
his feelings, and behaved like a maniac in expressing his delight. 
He plucked the plants one after another, danced, hugged me in 
his arms, and exultingly told me he had got, not merely a new 
species, but a new genus. 

" He immediately took notes of all the needful particulars ot 
the plant in a note-book, which he carried wrapt in a waterproof 
covering. After a day's pursuit of natural history studies, the 
stranger was accommodated with a bed in an attic room. We 
had all retired to rest ; every person I imagined was in deep 
slumber save myself, when of a sudden I heard a great uproar 
in the naturalist's room. I got up, reached the place in a few 
moments, and opened the door ; when, to my astonishment, I saw 
my guest running naked, holding the handle of my favourite 
violin, the body of which he had battered to pieces against the 
walls in attempting to kill the bats which had entered by the 
open window, probably attracted by the insects flying around 
his candle; I stood amazed, but he continued jumping and 


running round and round, until he was fairly exhausted, when 
he hegged me to procure one of the animals for him, as he felt 
convinced they belonged to a ' new species.' Although I was 
convinced of the contrary, I took up the bow of my demolished 
Cremona, and administering a smart tap to each of the bats as 
it came up, soon got specimens enough. The war ended, I again 
bade him good-night, but could not help observing the state of 
the room. It was strewed with plants, which had been previously 
arranged with care. 

" He saw my regret for the havoc that had been created, but 
added that he would soon put his plants to rights — after he had 
secured his new specimens of bats. Eafinesque had great anxiety 
to be shown a cane-brake, plenty of which were to be found in 
the neighbourhood. The cane-brake is composed of a dense 
growth of canes, measuring twenty or thirty feet in height, and 
packed so closely that a man's body requires to be forced between 
the shafts of the canes. An undergrowth of plants and trailing 
climbers further prevents progression, which has to be accelerated 
by pushing the back between the canes. Game of all sorts 
frequent the cane-brakes, in which travelling is rendered dis- 
agreeably exciting by the presence of bears, panthers, snakes, 
and serpents. The cane-brakes are sometimes set iire to, and 
the water collected in the separate joints explodes like a shell. 
The constant fusilade occasioned by such explosions in the midst 
of a conflagration has occasioned the flight of parties not con- 
versant with the cause, and who believed that the Indians were 
advancing with volleys of musketry. I had determined that my 
companion should view a cane-brake in all its perfection, and 
leading him several miles in a direct course, came upon as fine 
a sample as existed in that part of the country. We entered 
and for some time proceeded without much difficulty, as I led 
the way, and cut down the canes which were most likely to 
incommode him. The difficulties gradually increased, so that 
we were presently obliged to turn our backs and push our way 
through. After a while we chanced to come upon the top of a 
fallen tree, which so obstructed our passage, that we were on 
the eve of going round, instead of thrusting ourselves through 
amongst the branches ; when from its bed, in the centre of the 
tangled mass, forth rushed a bear with such force, that my 
friend became terror struck, and in his haste to escape made a 


desperate attempt to run, but fell amongst the canes in such a 
way that he was completely jammed. I could not refrain from 
laughing at the ridiculous exhibition he made, but my gaiety 
however was not very pleasing to the discomfited naturalist. 
A thunder-storm with a deluge of rain completed our expe- 
rience of the cane-brake, and my friend begged to be taken out. 
This could only be accomplished by crawling in a serpentine 
manner out of the jungle, from which the eccentric naturalist 
was delighted to escape, perfectly overcome with fatigue and 
fear. The eccentric was more than gratified with the exploit, 
and soon after left my abode without explanation or farewell. 
A letter of thanks, however, showed that he had enjoyed the 
hospitality, and' was not wanting in gratitude." 

In his Kentucky rambles Audubon had more than one oppor- 
tunity of seeing and hunting with the famous Colonel Boone, the 
Kentucky hunter, and hero of a multitude of desperate adven- 
tures. On a particular occasion Boone spent a night under 
Audubon's roof, and related some of his adventures, among 
others, the following. On a hunting expedition in which Boone 
was engaged, the wanderer was afraid of Indians, and he con- 
sequently damped out his fire before falling asleep. He had 
not lain long before strong hands were laid upon him, and he 
was dragged off to the Indian camp. Avoiding every semblance 
of fear, Boone neither spoke nor resisted. The Indians ran- 
sacked his pockets, found his whisky flask, and commenced to 
drink from it. While so engaged a shot was fired, and the male 
savages went off in pursuit, while the squaws were left to watch 
the prisoner. EoUing himself towards the fire, Boone burnt the 
fastenings which bound him, sprang to his feet, and after hacking 
three notches in an ash tree, afterwards known as "Boone's Ash," 
fled from the neighbourhood. In years after an engineer in Ken- 
tucky made the ash a point for a survey. A lawsuit arose out 
of a boundary question, and the only chance of closing it was 
by identifying "Boon's Ash." The hunter was sent for, and 
after some searching be pointed out the tree, in which the 
notches were detected after the bark had been peeled away. 
Boone's extraordinary stature and colossal strength struck 
Audubon as remarkable among a remarkable race ; and the 
dreaded foe of the red. man was notable for an honesty and 
courage that could not be questioned. 


Audubon Leaves Cincinnati with Captain Gumming — Voyage in Fi,at 
Boat Down the Ohio and Mississippi — ■ Aekival at Natchez — 


Natchez — Exchanging Porteaits for Boots — Departure for New 
Orleans — Loses a Poetfouo — Ashore Shooting — Boat-tah-ed 
Grakle — Arrival at New Orleans — Want of Success — His 
Purse Stolen — Interview with Jarvis, the Porteait-Paintek, 
AND Disappointment — Hears of an Exploring Expedition to 
Mexico, and Efforts to Join it— Vandbrlyn, the Painter. 

On the 12th of October, 1820, Audubon left Cincinnati in 
company with Captain Cumming, an American engineer who 
had been appointed to make a survey of the Mississippi river, 
and after fourteen days of drifting down the Ohio, the flat boat 
which contained the scientific " expedition " reached the 
Mississippi river. The naturalist had failed to receive the 
money due to him at Cincinnati, and vexed and discouraged, 
he determined even without means to seek a new field for 

Prom a letter addressed to the Governor of Arkansas at this 
date, it is evident that Audubon had determined on a lengthened 
excursion in the pursuit of ornithological specimens, including 
the States of Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, afterwards 
retracing his steps to New Orleans up the Red River, down the 
Arkansas, and homeward to his wife. He had received letters 
of recommendation from Greneral, afterwards President Harrison, 
and from Henry Clay, and good prospects seemed to dawn. He 
had determined in any case to complete one hundred drawings of 
birds before returning to Cincinnati, and he fulfilled this resolve. 


" On a clear frosty morning in December," writes Audubon 
in his journal, " I arrived at Natchez, and found the levee 
lined with various sorts of boats fuU of western produce. 
The crowd was immense and the market appeared to be a sort 
of fair. Scrambling up to the cliffs on which the city is built, 
I found flocks of vultures flying along the ground with out- 
spread wings in the pursuit of food. Large pines and superb 
magnolias crowned the bluff, and their evergreen foliage showed 
with magnificent effect. I was delighted with the spectacle of 
white-headed eagles pursuing fishing hawks, and surveyed the 
river scenery sparkling in bright sunlight with a new pleasure. 
Far away across the stream the shores were lost in the primitive 
forests, and a mysterious unknown seemed to lie beyond me. 
I was impressed with the pretty houses of the upper town, built 
of painted brick or wood ; and to complete my feeling of enjoy- 
ment, my relative, Mr. Berthoud, gave me letters from my wife 
and sons, received by the weekly mail which then brought 
letters to Natchez from all parts of the Union. The town 
owned three thousand inhabitants ; was composed of an upper 
town and an under town, the latter chiefly built up of beached 
flat boats converted into cabins by a rascally and nondescript 
population. The planters' houses in the upper town were 
models of luxury and comfort, but the church architecture 
prevalent rather detracted from the beauty of the place. I 
found the mocking bird in abundance, and the pewee fly- 
catcher at home in its winter quarters. The old Spanish fort 
was still visible in ruins, and a rumour reached me that many 
houses had been buried in the river by a slip of the bank. At 
Natchez, I was amazed to see a white-headed eagle attack a 
vulture, knock it down, and gorge itself upon a dead horse. 
M. G-arnier, who kept the largest hotel in the place, befriended 
me in many ways, and 1 also formed an acquaintance with 
M. Charles Carre, the son of a French nobleman of the old 
regime. From Oarrd I had a history^of Natchez, as he had 
lived to witness the career of that town under the Spaniards, 
French, and Americans." 

In connection with his residence in Natchez, he tells a 
a significant story. A companion of his, voyaging, having 
worn his shoes down, had no money to get them repaired or to 


purchase new ones. The naturalist was likewise without the 
means ; but Audubon called upon a shoemaker, explained that 
his friend was in want of shoes, had no money to pay for them, 
but that if he chose he should have the portrait of himself and 
his wife in return for two pairs of boots. The shoemaker was 
satisfied with the proposal, and the portraits were sketched in a 
couple of hours, after which the naturalist and his friend bade 
the shoemaker good-bye, after being fitted with new boots. After 
some stay in Natchez, Audubon left for New Orleans with his 
friend Berthoud, in a keel boat belonging to the latter, but which 
was taken in tow of the steamer. Not long after leaving, Audu- 
bon discovered one of his portfolios, containing some drawings of 
birds he prized highly, was missing. Pull of chagrin, he could 
only recollect that he had brought it to the wharf and had 
placed it in the hands of a servant, who had evidently forgotten 
to put it on board the keel boat. How to recover it was a 
serious consideration. Letters were instantly despatched to 
M. Gamier, M. Carre, and friends of Berthoud, to use their 
utmost endeavours to recover the lost portfolio. After towing 
as far as Bayou Sara, the steamer threw off the keel boat, and 
with the aid of the current and the oars Audubon continued his 
course to Baton Eouge, on the way to New Orleans. Large 
flocks of beautiful ducks were passed in various eddies, and the 
naturalist was amused by groups of negroes catching cat-fish in 
the river or scooping out shrimps with their nets. 

" Nearing New Orleans, the country became perfectly level, and 
from the embankments or levees we could see the great river 
winding on for miles. The planters' houses became more visible 
against groves of dark cypresses covered with hanging vine plants, 
and odorous winds blew perfumes of the orange flowers across the 
stream down which the boat so lazily drifted. Landing on the 
banks, I made my way to the swamps, and shot several beau- 
tiful boat-tailed grakles and a whole covey of partridges. 
Thousands of swallows in their winter home flew about us, 
and the cat-birds mewed in answer to their chatterings. Doves 
echoed soft notes through the woods, and the cardinal grosbeak 
sat on the top branches of the magnolia, saluting us by elevating 
his glowing crest. On the 6th of January, and when nearing 
New Orleans, a sharp frost was felt which left some traces of 


ice, but at the same time we had green peas, artichokes, and 
other summer esculents on shore fresh from the garden." 

On arriving at New Orleans, Audubon was relieved to find 
that thf! lost portfolio had been found, and was located safely 
in the office of the 'Mississippi Eepublican' newspaper. He 
however found no work to do, and had to live for some days 
in the boat he came with. The money he had, not much, was 
stolen from him, and he had not even as much as would pay a 
lodging he took in advance. Amid all his difficulties he still kept 
wandering to the woods, got additions made to his Specimens, 
and filled his portfolio with new drawings. Meeting an Italian 
painter, Audubon explained his anxiety to have work. The 
Italian introduced him to the director of the theatre, who offered 
the naturalist one hundred dollars per month to draw for him, 
but a fixed engagement could not be entered upon. 

On the 13th of January he called upon Jarvis the painter, 
who objected to his manner of painting birds. He suggested 
that he might assist the artist in filling in backgrounds, and 
was requested to come back. 

" I went back again," writes the naturalist, " but found Mr. 
Jarvis had no use for me: he appeared in fact to fear my 
rivalry. Meeting a friend, I was taken to the counting-house 
of Mr. Pamar, where I was asked what I would take the por- 
traits of three children for. I answered. One hundred dollars ; 
but various delays occurred which prevented me from entering 
upon this engagement. I wished for the money to send home 
to my wife and children. 

" January 14. Visited the levees, and found them crowded 
with promenaders of every hue and nation. The day was 
Sunday, and amusements were much indulged in. Various 
quadroon balls held in the evening. Do not see any good look- 
ing or handsome women ; all have a citron hue. Time passed 
sadly in seeking ineffectually for employment. I was fortunate 
in making a hit with the portrait of a well-known citizen of 
New Orleans. I showed it to the public ; it made a favourable 
impression, and I obtained several patrons. A few orders for 
portraits relieyed my necessities, and continuing my work of 
painting birds, the time passed more pleasantly. 

" February 5. Spent my time running after orders for portraits. 


and also in vain endeavours to obtain a sight of Alexander 
Wilson's ' OrnitLology,' but was unsuccessful in seeing the book, 
which is very high priced. Obtained some new birds and made 

" March 12. Of late have been imable to make many entries 
in my journal. Near our lodgings, on the south angle of a 
neighbouring chimney-top, a mocking bird regularly resorts, 
and pleases us with the sweetest notes from the rising of the 
moon until about midnight, and every morning from about 
eight o'clock until eleven, when he flies away to the Convent 
gardens to feed. I have noticed that bird, always in the same 
spot and same position, and have been particularly pleased at 
hearing him imitate the watchman's cry of ' All's well !' which 
comes from the fort, about three squares distant ; and so well 
has he sometimes mocked it that I should have been deceived 
if he had not repeated it too often, sometimes several times in 
ten minutes. 

" March 21. Eead in the papers this morning that the treaty 
between Spain and the United States is concluded, and that 
a clause provides that an expedition is to leave Natitoches 
next year to survey the boundary line of the ceded territory. 
I determined to try for an appointment as draughtsman and 
naturalist. I wrote to President Monroe, and was quite pleased 
at the prospect before me. I walked out in the afternoon of the 
day on which I formed the project, and saw nothing but hundreds 
of new birds in imagination within range of my gun. I have 
been struck with the paucity of birds in the neighbourhood of 
New Orleans during a season I had expected to meet with them. 
Many species of warblers, thrushes, &c., which were numerous 
during the winter, ha\e migrated eastward towards Florida, 
leaving swallows and a few water birds almost the sole repre- 
sentatives of the feathered race. 

"March 31. My time has been engrossed thinking over and 
making plans about the Pacific expedition. I called on Mr. 
Vanderlyn, the historical painter, with my portfolio, to show him 
some of my drawings and ask him for a recommendation. He 
said they were handsomely done, and was pleased with the 
colouring and positions of the birds drawn. He was however a 
rude-mannered man, treated me as a mendicant, and ordered 


me to lay down my portfolio in the lobby. I felt inclined to 
walk off without farther comment, but the thought of furthering 
my prospects in connection with the expedition induced me to 
submit. In half an hour he returned with an officer, and with 
an air more becoming asked me into his private room. Yet I 
could see in his expression that feeling of selfish confidence 
which always impairs in some degree the worth of the greatest 
man who has it. The perspiration ran down my face as I 
showed him my drawings and laid them on the floor. An officer 
who was with the artist, looking at the drawings, said with an 
oath that they were handsome. Vanderlyn made a like 
remark, and I felt comforted. Although he failed in painting 
women himself, he spoke disparagingly of my own portraits ; 
said they were too hard, and were too strongly drawn. He sat 
down and wrote his note while I was thinking of my journey to 
the Pacific, and I cared not a picayune for his objections to my 
portraits so that my prospects of going with the expedition were 
furthered. Vanderlyn gave me a very complimentary note, in 
which he said that he never had seen anything superior to my 
drawings in any country, and for which kindness I was very 
thankful. His friend, the officer, followed me to the door, asked 
the price of my portraits, and very courteously asked me to 
paint his likeness." 


AuDnBON Leaves New Oelbans for Kentucky — Aebival at Bayou 
Sara — Bngaqembnt at Mk. Pbbbie's to Teach Dbawins — Puesuit 
OF Birds — Poeteait Taken fbom a Coepsb — Draws a Battle- 
snake — ^Dissection of a Eattlesnake's Poison Pangs — Return to 
New Oelbans — Review of Woek done since LBAvmG Home — 
Proposal to Paint a Panorama — Expected Aebival op Wife 
AND Family. 

Audubon's fortunes in New Orleans varied exceedingly. From 
the sorest penury and deepest distress he was suddenly raised by 
the happy spirit he possessed and the untiring energy of his 
character. One day he was going about seeking for a patron to 
obtain a few dollars by drawing a portrait ; the next he was dining 
with Governor Robertson of Louisiana, who gave him a letter 
of recommendation to President Monroe in connection with the 
expedition to Mexico. He had determined to go to Shipping 
Port, Kentucky, but his departure was hindered by an engage- 
ment from a few pupils. He writes in his diary : — 

" June 16. Left New Orleans in the steamer Columbus, 
Captain John D'Hart, for Shipping Port, Kentucky. Been 
greatly oppressed while at work lately, and greatly tormented 
by mosquitoes, which prevented my sleeping at night Much 
disappointed by one patron at New Orleans, who affected great 
interest in me, but would not pay one hundred dollars he owed." 

It happened however that Audubon was not to return to his 
family as soon as he expected. The voyage to Shipping Port 
was cut short by the acceptance of a situation in the family 
of Mrs. Perrie, who owned a plantation at Bayou Sara, in 


Louisiana. The duties accepted by Audubon were apparently 
simple enough. He was to teach Mrs. Perrie's daughter dra^v- 
ing during the summer months, 'at sixty dollars per month. 
His lessons would absorb one half of the day, and with a young 
friend. Mason, he was to have the rest of his time free for 
hunting. Board and lodging were provided for the two friends, 
and Mrs. Perrie's aim appears to have been to provide an 
opportunity for Audubon to carry on his pursuits under the 
guise of an employment which would be congenial, and not 
interfere with his work. 

" We arrived at the landing at the mouth of the bayou on 
a hot sultry day, bid adieu to our fellow-passengers, climbed 
the hill at St. Francisville, and rested a few minutes at the 
house of Mr. Swift. Dinner was nearly ready, and we were 
invited to partake, but I had no heart for it. I wished myself 
on board the Columbus ; I wished for my beloved Lucy and 
my dear boys. I felt that I should be awkward at the table ; 
and a good opportunity having offered me to go to Mr. Perrie's, 
we walked slowly on, guided by some of the servants, who had 
been sent, when the family heard of our coming, to bring our 
luggage, which they found L'ght. 

"The aspect of the country was entirely new to me, and 
distracted my mind from those objects which are the occupation 
of my life. The rich magnolias covered with fragrant blossoms, 
the holly, the beech, the tall yellow poplar, the hilly ground, 
and even the red clay, all excited my admiration. Such an 
entire change in the face of nature in so short a time seems 
almost supernatural ; and surrounded once more by numberless 
warblers and thrushes, I enjoyed the scene. The five miles we 
walked appeared short, and we arrived and met Mr. Perrie at 
his house. Anxious to know him, I examined his features by 
Lavater's directions. We were received kindly. 

" August 11. We were awakened last night by a servant 
requesting me to accompany Mrs. Perrie to the house of a dying 
neighbour, about a mile distant. We went, but arrived too late, 
for the man was dead, and I had the pleasure of keeping his 
body company the remainder of the night. On such occasions 
time flies very slowly, so much so, that it looked as if it stood 
still, like the hawk that poises in the air over his prey. The 


poor man had drunk himself into an everlasting sleep. I made 
a good sketch of his head, and left the house, while the ladies 
were engaged in preparing the funeral dinner. 

" August 12. Left this morning to visit a beautiful lake, six 
miles distant, where we are told there are many beautiful birds. 
The path led through a grove of rich magnolia woods. On the 
way we saw a rich-coloured spider at work rolling up a horse- 
fly he had caught in his web. He spirted a stream of fluid from 
his mouth, at the same time rolling the fly in it, until he looked 
like the cocoon of a silkworm ; and having finished his work, 
returned to the centre of his nest. This is no doubt the way 
he puts up his food when he is not hungry, and provides for the 

"August 25. Finished drawing a very fine specimen of a 
rattlesnake, which measured five feet and seven inches, weighed 
six and a quarter pounds, and had ten rattles. Anxious to give 
it a position most interesting to a naturalist, I put it in that 
which the reptile commonly takes when on the point of striking 
madly with its fangs. I had examined many before, and especially 
the position of the fangs along the superior jawbones, but had 
never seen one showing the whole exposed at the same time ; 
and having before this supposed that it was probable that those 
lying enclosed below the upper one, in most specimens, were 
to replace the upper one, which I thought might drop periodi- 
cally as the animal changed its skin and rattles. However, on 
dissection of these from the ligament by which they were 
attached to the jawbones, I found them strongly and I think 
permanently fixed there as follows. Two superior, or next to 
the upper lips (I speak of one side of the jaws only), were well 
connected at their bases and running parallel their whole length, 
with apertures on the upper and lower sides of their bases to 
receive the poison connectedly, and the discharging one a short 
distance from the sharp point on the inner part of the fangs. 
The next two fangs, about a quarter of an inch below, connected 
and received in the same manner, but with only one base 
aperture on the lower side of each, and the one at the point 
which issues the poison to the wound. The fifth, rather smaller, 
is also about a quarter of an inch below. The scales of the 
belly, to the under part of the mouth, numbered one hundred 



and seventy, and twenty-two from the vent to the tail. The 
heat of the weather was so great that I could devote only 
sixteen hours to the drawing. 

" Odoler 20. Left Bayou Sara in the Eamapo, with a medley 
of passengers, and arrived safely in New Orleans. My long, 
flowing hair, and loose yellow nankeen dress, and the unfortunate 
cut of my features, attracted much attention, and made me desire 
to be dressed like other people. as soon as possible. My friends 
the Pamars received me kindly and raised my spirits ; they 
looked on me as a son returned from a long and dangerous 
voyage, and children and servants as well as the parents were 
all glad to see me. 

" October 25. Eented a house in Pauphine Street at seventeen 
dollars per month, and determined to bring my. family to New 
Orleans. Since I left Cincinnati, October 12, 1820, I have 
finished sixty-two drawings of birds and plants, three quadru- 
peds, two snakes, fifty portraits of all sorts, and have subsisted 
by my humble talents, not having had a dollar when I started. 
I sent a draft to my wife, and began life in New Orleans with 
forty-two dollars, health, and much anxiety to pursue my plan 
of collecting all the birds of America." 

Audubon speaks with boyish gaiety of the comfort which a 
new suit of clothes gave him. He called on Mrs. Clay with his 
drawings, but got no work — no pupils. He determined to make 
a public exhibition of his ornithological drawings. 

Under date November 10, he remarks : " Mr. Basterop called 
on me, and wished me to join him in painting a panorama of 
the city ; but my birds, my beloved birds of America, occupy 
all my time, and nearly all my thoughts, and I do not wish to 
see any other perspective than the last specimen of these 


Squatter Life on the Mississippi — The Emigrants on their Wat 
— A Patriarchal Journey — The Promised Land — Across the 
Mississippi — Hardships and Fever — Lumbering in the Far West 
— Raft Voyage to New Orleans — Comfort and Eicues — The 
Habits of the Opossum — Eobbebibs of Poultry — A Couple of 
Pets in the "Ark" — A Consignment of Opossums fob Europe — 
Cannibal Propensities of the Prisoners. 

Audubon relates many incidents of squatter life on the great 
American rivers. The features of this peculiar life stnick him 
with a picturesque force that makes his descriptions of the 
constant emigrations from the east, and the settlement of the 
wanderers in the west, very interesting indeed. In a detailed 
account he describes how the settlers in Virginia became im- 
poverished through the reckless system of husbandry pursued, 
and how, after suffering penury, they determined to emigrate 
to more fertile lands. He thus graphically narrates the patri- 
archal wanderings of the wearied wayfarers. 

" I think I see them harnessing their horses, and attaching 
them to their waggons, which are already fitted with bedding, 
provisions, and the younger children ; while on their outside 
are fastened spinning-wheels and looms, a bucket filled with 
tar and tallow swings betwixt the hind wheels. Several axes 
are secured to the bolster, and the feeding-trough of the horses 
contains pots, kettles, and pans. The servant now becomes a 
driver, riding the near saddled horse, the wife is mounted on 
another, the worthy husband shoulders liis gun, and his sons, 
clad in plain, substantial home-spun, drive the cattle ahead, and 

F 2 


lead tlie procession, followed by the hounds and other dogs. 
Their day's journey is short and not agreeable. The cattle, 
stubborn or wild, frequently leave the road for the woods, giving 
the travellers much trouble ; the harness of the horses here and 
there gives way, and immediate repair is needed. A basket 
which has accidentally dropped must be gone after, for nothing 
that they have can be spared. The roads are bad, and now and 
then all hands are called to push on the waggon, or prevent it 
from upsetting. Yet by sunset they have proceeded perhaps 
twenty miles. Fatigued, all assemble round the fire, which has 
been lighted ; supper is prepared, and a camp being run up, there 
they pass the night. Days and weeks pass before they gain the 
end of their journey. They have crossed both the Carolinas, 
Georgia, and Alabama. They have been travelling from the 
beginning of May to that of September, and with heavy hearts 
they traverse the neighbourhoodof Mississippi. But now arrived 
on the banks of the broad stream, they gaze in amazement on the 
(lark deep woods around them. Boats of various kinds they see 
gliding downwards with the current, while others slowly ascend 
against it. A few inquiries are made at the nearest dwelling, 
and assisted by the inhabitants with their boats and canoes, they 
at once cross the river, and select their place of habitation. 
The exhalations arising from the swamps and morasses around 
them have a powerful effect on these new settlers, but all are 
intent on preparing for the winter. A small patch of ground is 
cleared by the axe and fire, a temporary cabin is erected ; to 
each of the cattle is attached a bell before it is let loose into the 
neighbouring cane-brake, and the horses remain about the 
house, where they find sufficient food at that season. The first 
trading boat that stops at their landing enables them to provide 
themselves with some flour, fish-hooks, and ammunition, as well 
as other commodities. . The looms are mounted, the spinning- 
wheels soon furnish some yarn, and in a few weeks the family 
throw off their ragged clothes, and array themselves in suits 
adapted to the climate. 

" The father and sons meanwhile have sown turnips and other 
vegetables ; and from some Kentucky flat-boat a supply of live 
poultry has been purchased. October tinges the leaves of the 
forest; the morning dews are heavy; the days hot and the nights 


chill, and the unacclimatised family in a few days are attacked 
with ague. The lingering disease almost prostrates their whole 
faculties. Fortunately the unhealthy season soon passes over, 
and the hoar frosts make their appearance. Gradually each 
individual recovers strength. The largest ash trees are felled, 
their trunks are cut, split, and corded in front of the building ; 
a large fire is lighted at night on the edge of the water, and 
soon a steamer calls to purchase the wood, and thus add to their 
comforts during the winter. This first fruit of their industry 
imparts new courage to them ; their exertions multiply, and 
when spring returns the place has a cheerful look. Venison, 
bear's flesh, and turkeys, ducks and geese, with now and then 
some fish, have served to keep up their strength, and now their 
enlarged field is planted with corn, potatoes, and pumpkins. 
Their stock of cattle too has augmented : the steamer which 
now stops there, as if by preference, buys a calf or a pig, together 
with their wood. Their store of provisions is renewed, and 
brighter rays of hope enHven their spirits. 

" The sons discover a swamp covered with excellent timber, 
and as they have seen many great rafts of saw logs, bound for 
the saw mills of New Orleans, floating past their dwelling, they 
resolve to try the success of a little enterprise. A few cross 
saws are purchased, and some broad-wheeled " carry logs " are 
made by themselves. Log after log is hauled to the bank of 
the river, and in a short time their first raft is made on the 
shore, and loaded with cordwood. When the next freshet sets 
it afloat it is secured by long grape vines or cables ; until the 
proper time being arrived, the husband and sons embark on it 
and float down the mighty stream. After encountering many 
difficulties, they arrive in safety at New Orleans, where they 
dispose of their stock, the money obtained for which may be 
said to be all profit ; supply themselves with such articles as 
may add to their convenience or comfort, and with light hearts 
procure a passage on the upper deck of a steamer at a very 
cheap rate, on account of the benefit of their labours in taking 
in wood or otherwise. Every successive year has increased 
their savings. They now possess a large stock of horses, cows, 
and hogs, with abundance of provisions, and domestic comforts 
of every kind. The daughters have been married to the sons 


of neighbouring-squatters, and have gained sisters to themselves 
by the marriage of their brothers." 

He introduces, among other episodes of natural history, an 
account of the habits of the opossum — "the dissimulator." 
The walk of this animal he describes as an amble like that 
of a yoimg foal or a Newfoimdland dog. Its movements 
are rather slow — it travels across the snow-covered ground 
about as fast as a man could walk — snuffing at every step for 
traces of the prey it searches after. Entering some cranny, it 
pulls out a squirrel it has killed, and climbing a tree, secretes 
itself among the thick branches to eat its repast. Exhausted, 
by hunger in the early spring, the opossum will eat young frogs> 
and the green growth of nettles and other succulent plants. 
Unscared by the watchful crows the farmer has killed, the pest 
creeps into the hen-house, eats the chickens, robs the hen of the 
eggs she is sitting upon, and commits its devastations with 
address and adroitness. Prowling about after sunset it avoids 
all sorts of precautions, and defies the farmer's guns and curs 
alike. In the woods it eats the eggs of the wild turkey, and 
ravenously devours the grapes of the grape vine. When 
attacked, it rolls itself up like a ball, submits to be kicked and 
maltreated without moving, feigns death, lies on the ground 
with shut eyes, and cheats its assailants into the belief that it 
has been destroyed. When its assailant has gone, life seemingly 
suddenly returns, and regaining its feet, it scampers off to the 

" Once while descending the Mississippi, in a sluggish flat- 
bottomed boat, expressly for the purpose of studying those 
objects of nature more nearly connected with my favourite 
pursuits, I chanced to meet with two well-grown opossums, and 
brought them alive to the " ark." The poor things were placed 
on the roof or deck, and were immediately assailed by the crew, 
when, following their natural instinct, they lay as if quite dead- 
An experiment was suggested, and both were thrown overboard. 
On striking the water, and for a few moments after, neither 
evinced the least disposition to move ; but finding their situation 
desperate, they began to swim towards our uncouth rudder, 
which was formed of a long slender tree, extending from the 
middle of the boat thirty feet beyond the stem. They both got 


upon it, were taken up, and afterwards let loose in their native 

" In the year 1829, 1 was in a portion of Lower Louisiana, 
where the opossum abounds at all seasons, and having been 
asked by the President and Secretary of the Zoological Gardens 
and Society of London to forward live animals of this species 
to them, I offered a price a little above the common, and soon 
found myself plentifully supplied, twenty-five ha,ving been 
brought to me. I found them extremely voracious, and not less 
cowardly. They were put into a large box, with a great quan- 
tity of food, and conveyed to a steamer bound to New Orleans. 
Two days afterwards I went to the city, to see about sending 
them off to Europe ; but to my surprise I found that the old 
males had destroyed the younger ones, and eaten off their heads, 
and that only sixteen remained alive. A separate box was 
purchased for each, and the cannibals were safely forwarded to 
their destination." 



Avuvros HBABS HIS OWN Chakacteb curiously descbibbd — His Wife 
AND Sons abeive at New Orleans — Difficulties of Obtaining a 
Livei.ihood^Mes. Audubon obliged to accept a Situation — Ebso- 


" December 8. Mt wife and family arrived to-day by steamer. 
We dined with our friend Mr. Pamar, and met my old friend 
Mr. Eosier in the evening. We reached our lodging, and all 
felt happy and comforted at the reunion, after fourteen months 
of separation." 

For the first two months of 1822, the records of Audubon's 
life are sparse and imperfect, on account of his inability to 
purchase a book to write his journal in ! The one at last ob- 
tained was made of thin, poor paper, and the records entered 
are rather in keeping with his financial difficulties. It took all 
his means at this time to supply his family with the necessaries 
of life, and in order to obtain money to educate the children, his 
wife undertook the duties of a situation, in which she had charge 
of and educated the offspring of a Mr. Brand. 

"March 7. Spring is advancing, with many pleasant 
associations, but my bodily health suffers from depression. I 
have resolved to leave for Natchez, but grieve to leave my 
family. My money is scarce, and I find great difficulty in 
collecting what is owing to me. 


" March 16. Paid all my bills in New Orleans, and having 
put my baggage on board of the steamer, Eclat, obtained 
a passage to Natchez in the steamer, in return for a crayon 
portrait of the captain and his wife. 

" March 19. Opened a chest with two hundred of my bird 
portraits in it, and found them sorely damaged by the break- 
ing of a bottle containing " a quantity of gunpowder. I had 
several portraits to draw during the passage. 

"March 24. One of the passengers accused Alexander 
Wilson, the ornithologist, of intemperate habits, but I had the 
satisfaction of defending his character from aspersion. I had 
hope of success in Natchez, and soon expected to be followed 
by my wife and family. My wife in the meantime remained at 
New Orleans, in the family of Mr. Brand." 

In closing his recollections of New Orleans, Audubon relates 
an amusing history of a painter, whose eccentricities fascinated 
the naturalist. The genius was first observed by the natu- 
ralist on the Levee at New Orleans, and his odd costume and 
appearance are thus described : — 

" His head was covered by a straw hat, the brim of which 
might cope with those worn by the fair sex in 1830 ; his neck 
was exposed to the weather; the broad frill of a shirt, then 
fashionable, flopped about his breast, whilst an extraordinary 
collar, carefully arranged, fell over the top of his coat. The 
latter was of a light-green colour, harmonizing well with a pair 
of flowing yellow nankeen trousers and a pink waistcoat, from 
the bosom of which, amidst a large bunch of the splendid 
flowers of the magnolia, protruded part of a young alligator, 
which seemed more anxious to glide through the muddy waters 
of a swamp than to spend its life swinging to and fro amongst 
folds of the finest lawn. The gentleman held in one hand a 
cage full of richly-plumed nonpareils, whilst in the other he 
sported a silk umbrella, on which I could plainly read ' Stolen 
froni I,' these words being painted in large white characters. 
He walked as if conscious of his own importance ; that is, 
with a good deal of pomposity, singing, 'My love is 'but a lassie 
yet ;' and that with such thorough imitation of the Scotch em- 
phasis, that had not his physiognomy suggested another paren- 
tage, I should have believed him to be a genuine Scot. A 


narrower acquaintance proved liim to be a Yankee ; and anxious 
to make his acquaintance, I desired to see his birds. He 
retorted, ' What the devil did I know about birds ?' I ex- 
plained to him that I was a naturalist, whereupon he requested 
me to examine his birds. I did so with some interest, and 
was preparing to leave, when he bade me come to his lodgings 
and see the remainder of his collection. This I wiUingly did, 
and was struck with amazement at the appearance of his studio. 
Several cages were hung about the walls, containing specimens 
of birds, aU of which I examined at my leisure. On a large 
easel before me stood an unfinished portrait, other pictures 
hung about, and in the room were two young pupils ; . and at a 
glance I discovered that the eccentric stranger was, like myself, 
a naturalist and an artist. The artist, as modest as he was odd, 
showed me how he laid on the paint on his pictures, asked after 
my own pursuits, and showed a friendly spirit which enchanted 
me. With a ramrod for a rest, he prosecuted his work vigo- 
rously, and afterwards asked me to examine a percussion lock 
on his gun, a novelty to me at the time. He snapped some 
caps, and on my remarking that he would frighten his birds, he 
exclaimed, ' Devil take the birds, there are more of them in the 
market.' He then loaded his gun, and wishing to show me that 
he was a marksman, fired at one of the pins on his easel. This 
he smashed to pieces, and afterwards put a rifle bullet exactly 
through the hole into which the pin fitted." 


Audubon's Akbival at Natchez — Bngagembbt feom Mb. Quaglass — 
Engagement to teach Drawing at Washington College — Attack 
OF Fever — Engagement with Mk. Beevost — Eafele of a Deawing, 
AND Results — Abeival of Mes. Audubon at Natchez — Hee Engage- 
ment WITH Mes. Pebey — ^Audubon studies Oil Paintqig — Dbteemina- 
tion to go on an Expedition with his Peiend, the Abtist, Stein 
— The Naturalist lets loose his Pet Bibds^ Visit to Bayou Saea, 
and Residence at Jackson — A Den of Q-amblees — Abeangement 
TO Stay with tee Peebts — Attack op Fbvbb, and caee of Mes. 
Audubon — Leaves for Louisville with his son Victoe — Aebival 
IN THE Ohio, and Wandbbings through the Wilds. 

The voyage up the Mississippi to Natchez appears to have 
been without any circumstance of importance. Under date 
March 24th, 1822, the naturalist records the fact that he had 
arrived at Natchez. " I went ashore to see after work — called 
on Mr. Quigley, who received me cordially. I had prospects 
of an engagement with Mr. Quaglass, a Portuguese gentleman, 
who wished me to give lessons in drawing and music and 
French to his daughter, thirteen years of age. I was received at 
his house, and received a welcome from his wife. Mr. Quaglass 
arrived at home in the evening, and his appearance was by no 
means prepossessing. His small grey eyes, and corrugated 
brows, did not afford me an opportunity of passing a favourable 
judgment. My time has been mostly engaged in hunting, 
drawing, and attending to my charge. I constantly regret the 
separation from my family." 

Ere long he got an appointment to teach drawing in the 


college at Washington, nine miles from Natchez. He sent for 
his sons, and put them to school at Washington, but was depressed 
in spirits because his work interfered with his ornithological 

" July 8. Constant exposure in the tropical climate, and the 
fatigue of my journeys to and from Washington, brought on fever 
and a renewal of a certain kind doctor's attendance, who not only 
would accept of no remuneration, but actually insisted on my 
taking his purse to pay for the expenses connected with the 
education of my sons. Shortly afterwards I made an engagement 
with Mr. Brevost to teach drawing in an academy just opened 
in Natchez by that gentleman. But while work flowed upon 
me, the hope of completing my book upon the birds of America 
became less clear ; and full of despair, I feared my hopes of 
becoming known to Europe as a naturalist' were destined to be 
blasted. I wrote to my wife to join me at Natchez, and there 
was hopes of it being accomplished. 

"July 23. My friend, Joseph Mason, left me to-day, and 
we experienced great pain at parting. I gave him paper and 
chalks to work his way with, and the double-barrelled gun I 
had killed most of my birds with, and which I had purchased at 
Philadelphia in 1805. I also began to copy the 'Death of 
Montgomery,' from a print. My drawing was highly praised by 
my friends at Natchez, and Dr. Provan, like a good genius, 
insisted it should be raffled. I valued it at three hundred dollars, 
and Dr. Provan sold all the tickets but one, at ten dollars each. 
He then put my name down for that, saying he hoped it would 
be the winning one. The raffle took place in my absence, and 
when I returned, my friend the doctor came and brought me 
three hundred dollars and the picture, beautifully framed, saying, 
' Your number has drawn it, and the subscribers are all agreed 
that no one is more deserving of it than yourself.' " 

" September 1. My wife writes to me that the child she was 
in charge of is dead, and that consequently she had determined 
to come on to Natchez. I received her with great pleasure at 
the landing, and immediately got a house hired, in which we 
might resume housekeeping. In the mean time my wife engaged 
with a clergyman named Davis, in a situation similar to that 
which she had held in New Orleans. I was much pleased with 


the conduct of Mr. Quaglass, whose kindness of heart very much 
belied his coarse exterior. 

" October 27. I met a gentleman from Mexico, who proposed 
to me to go to Mexico and establish a paper mill in that 
country. He proposed to supply the funds if I took care of the 
mill. At Natchez I met Mr. Murray, formerly of Charleston, 
and Mr. Blackburn, formerly of Cincinnati. They had both 
suffered heavy reverses of fortune, and appeared to me to be in 
distress. Their change of fortune was sufficient to reconcile me 
to my own vexations. 

" November 3. While engaged in sketching a view of Natchez, 
an English gentleman named Seacock was introduced to me as 
a naturalist. He called and spent the evening with me, and 
examined my drawings, and advised me to visit England and 
take them with me. But when he said I should probably have 
to spend several years to perfect them, and to make myself 
known, I closed my drawings and turned my mind from the 
thought. My wife, finding it difficult to get her salary for 
teaching, has resolved to relinquish her situation." 

In December there arrived at Natchez a portrait-painter, 
from whom Audubon received his first lessons in the use of oil 
colours, and who was in return instructed by the naturalist in chaJk 
drawing. Mrs. Audubon was desirous that her husband should 
go to Europe, and obtain complete instruction in the use of 
oil ; and with this aim in view she entered into an engage- 
ment with a Mrs. Perry to educate her children, along with her 
own and a limited number of pupils. Mrs. Perry lived at 
Bayou Sara, and thither Mrs. Audubon removed, while her 
husband remained at Natchez, painting with his friend Stein, 
the artist whose instructions in oil painting had been so valuable. 
After enjoying all the patronage to be expected at Natchez, 
Audubon and his friend Stein resolved to start on an ex- 
pedition as perambulating portrait-painters; and purchasing a 
waggon, prepared for a long expedition through the Southern 

" I had finally determined to break through all bonds, and 
pursue my ornithological pursuits. My best friends solemnly 
regarded me as a madman, and my wife and family alone gave 
me encouragement. My wife alone determined that my genius 


sliould prevail, and that my final success as an ornithologist 
should be triumphant. 

" March, 1823. My preparations for leaving Natchez almost 

" May 1. Left Mr. Perry's on a visit to Jackson, Mississippi, 
which I found to be a mean place, a rendezvous for gamblers 
and vagabonds. Disgusted with the place and the people, I 
left it and returned to my wife. I agreed to remain with the 
Perrys throughout the summer, and teach the young ladies 
music and drawing. I continued to exercise myself in painting 
with oil, and greatly improved myself. I undertook to paint 
the portraits of my wife's pupils, but found their complexions 
difficult to transfer to canvas. On account of some misunder- 
standing, I left the Perrys and returned to Natchez, but did not 
know what course to follow. I thought of going to Philadelphia, 
and again thought of going to Louisville and once more entering 
upon mercantile pursuits, but had no money to move any- 

During a visit to a plantation near Natchez, both he and his 
son Victor were attacked with fever, and Mrs. Audubon hastened 
to nurse both of them. 

" Septemher 8. I was asked to go and recruit my health at 
the Perrys', and I went to Bayou Sara. I sent on my drawings 
to Philadelphia, and resolved to visit that city and obtain em- 
ployment as a teacher. 

" September 30. Sold a note for services in Natchez, and with 
proceeds took steamer to New Orleans. 

" October 3. Left New Orleans for Kentucky, where I in- 
tended to leave my son Victor with my wife's relations, and 
proceed on my travels. I left Bayou Sara with my son Victor 
on board the steamer Magnet, bound for the Ohio, and was 
kindly treated by Captain McKnight, the commander. After a 
pleasant voyage we arrived at the beautiful village of Trinity, 
but found the water too low for further navigation. I had 
resolved to push on my journey, if Victor was strong enough to 
undertake the exertion. Other two passengers desired to ac- 
company us, and after I had left my luggage to the care of the 
tavern-keeper, our party crossed Cash Creek, at which I had 
before spent a pleasant time, and pushed across the coimtry. 


Victor, who was scarcely fourteen, was a lively boy, and had no 
fear of failing. Cleaving our way, Indian-file fashion, through 
the cane brakes — through the burnt forest — through the brush- 
wood-clad banks of the river, and along the pebbly shore, we 
reached, after twelve miles' walking, the village of America. 
After refreshing ourselves we covered another seven miles, and 
reached a cabin, where we were well received by a squatter 

"After a bath in the Ohio, my son and myself joined the rest, 
and we enjoyed an excellent supper, and a capital sleep in such 
beds as could be provided. We rose at break of day and left 
our kind host and hostess, who would receive no pecuniary 
reward. At seven miles further we found an excellent breakfast 
at a house owned by a very lazy fellow, whose beautiful wife 
appeared to be superior to her station, and who conducted the 
household affairs in a very agreeable manner. We left a dollar 
with OQC of the children, and pursued our way along the beacli 
of the Ohio. After proceeding some distance, my son Victor 
broke down, but after a rest he suddenly revived at the sight of 
a wild turkey, and resumed his journey in good spirits. We 
reached Belgrade and continued our journey. Towards sunset 
we reached the shores of the river, opposite the mouth of the 
Cumberland. On a hill, the property of Major B., we found a 
house and a solitary woman, wretchedly poor, but very kind. 
She assured us that if we could not cross the river, she would 
give us food and shelter for the night, but said that as the 
moon was up, she could get us put over when her skiff came 
back. Hungry and fatigued, we lay down on the brown grass, 
waiting either a scanty meal, or the skiff that was to convey 
us across the river. I had already grated the corn for our 
supper, run down the chickens, and made a fire, when a cry of 
' Boat coming !' roused us all. We crossed the river Ohio, and 
I again found myself in Kentucky, the native state of my two 
sons. We then pursued our onward journey, but my son 
suffered sorely from lameness. As we trudged along, nothing 
remarkable occurred excepting that we saw a fine black wolf, 
quite tame and gentle, the owner of which had refused a 
hundred dollars for it. Mr. Rose, who was an engineer, and a 
man of taste, played on the flageolet to lighten our journey. 


At an orchard we filled our pockets with October peaches, and 
when we came to Trade Water river we found it low; the 
acorns were already drifted on its shallows, and the ducks were 
running about picking them up. Passing a flat bottom, we saw 
a large buffalo lick. 

" We reached Highland Lick, where we stumbled on a cabin, 
the door of which we thrust open, overturning a chair that had 
been put behind it. On a dirty bed lay a man, a table, with a 
journal, or perhaps ledger, before him, a small cask in the 
corner near him, a brass pistol on a nail over his head, and a 
long Spanish dagger by his side. He arose and asked what we 
wanted? 'The way to a better place, the road to Sugg's.' 
' Follow the road, and you will get to his house in about five 
miles.' Separating from our companions, who were unable to 
proceed at the same pace, we reached Green River, were ferried 
across, and shortly afterwards reached Louisville." 


Eesidence at Lquisville-:— PAiNTma the Falls of the Ohio^An 
Adventuee in the Woods — Floods of the Mississippi — The Waste 
OF Watees — The Flooded Forest — Slaughter of Game — Beaks 
AND Lynxes Hiding in Trees. 

" On the 25th October, 1822," writes Audubon, " I entered 
Louisville with thirteen dollars in my pocket. I found my 
friends very cool, and my position very insecure. My son 
Victor I managed to get into the counting-house of a friend, 
and I engaged to paint the interior of a steamer. I was advised 
to make a painting of the falls of the Ohio, and commenced 
the work. 

"November 9. Busy at work, when the weather permitted, 
and resolved to paint one hundred views of American scenery. 
I shall not be surprised to find myself seated soon at the foot 
of Niagara." 

While painting he mainly resided at Shipping Port, a little 
village near Louisville. In his journey between Green River 
and Louisville, he took conveyance in a cart, the owner 
agreeing to drive the distance. In doing so, the driver 
missed his route, and in a storm went far off the way. The 
horses instinctively led the way to a log hut, inhabited by a 
newly-married pair, who did their utmost to show befitting 
hospitality. In the midst of a hurricane the host rode off to his 
father's, some miles distant, for a keg of cider ; the wife baked 
bread and roasted fowls, and finally determined to sleep on the 
floor, so that the strangers might have the comfort of a bed. 



Of such hospitality Audubon speaks highly, and seems to 
lament its decadence among residents in the more civilised 
states of the Union. Some notes upon the effects of the floods 
which swell American rivers into inland seas are also contained 
in the journal of his residence at Louisville. Writing of 
the devastation created by overflows of the Mississippi, he 
remarks : — 

" The river rises until its banks are flooded and the levees 
overflown. It then sweeps inland, over swamps, prairie, 
and forest, until the country is a turbid ocean, checkered by 
masses and strips of the forest, through which the flood rolls 
lazily down cypress-shadowed glades under the .gloomy pines, 
and into unexplored recesses, where the trailing vine and um- 
brageous foliage dim the light of the noonday sun. In islets 
left amid the waste, deer in thousands are driven ; and the squatter, 
with his gun and canoe, finds on these refuges the game which he 
slaughters remorselessly for the skins or feathers that will sell. 
Floating on a raft made fast by a vine rope to some stout trees, 
the farmer and his family preserve their lives, while the stream 
bears away their habitation, their cut wood, their stores of grain, 
their stock, and all their household goods. From creeks of the 
forest other rafts float, laden with produce for New Orleans, and 
guided by adventurous boatmen who have but vague knowledge 
of their devious way, and to whom the navigation of an inland 
river is not less hazardous than a voyage on a stormy sea 
would be. 

"I have floated on the Mississippi and Ohio when thus 
swollen, and have in different places visited the submerged 
lands of the interior, propelling a light canoe by the aid of 
a paddle. In this manner I have traversed immense portions 
of the country overflowed by the waters of these rivers, and 
particularly whilst floating over the Mississippi bottom lands 
I have been struck with awe at the sight. Little or no current 
is met with, unless when the canoe passes over the bed of a 
bayou. All is silent and melancholy, unless when the mournful 
bleating of the hemmed-in deer reaches your ear, or the dismal 
scream of an eagle or a heron is heard, or the foul bird rises, 
disturbed by your approach, from the carcass on which it was 
allaying its craving appetite. Bears, cougars, lynxes, and all 


other quadrupeds that can ascend the trees, are observed 
crouched among their top branches; hungry in the midst of 
abundance, although they see floating around them the animals 
on which they usually prey. They dare not venture to swim 
to them. Fatigued by the exertions which they have made in 
reaching dry land, they will there stand the hunter's fire, as if 
to die by a baU were better than to perish amid the waste 
of waters. On occasions like this, all these animals are shot by 

"Opposite the city of Natchez, which stands on a bluff 
bank of considerable elevation, the extent of inundated land 
is immense, the greater portion of the tract lying between the 
Mississippi and the lied River, which is more than thirty miles, 
being under water." 

G 2 



Audubon ekacijes Philadelphia — Calls on nis old Friesd Db. Mease, 
AND KIND Reception — Introduction to Sully the Painteh, and 


TO THE Prince of Canino — The Prince's Volume on Ornithology, 
and Illustrations — Acquaintance with Lb Sueue — A Gigantic 
Engraver — Engagement with Prince Canino — Meetings with 
Rosier and Joseph Mason — Advised to take his Drawings to 
England — Coldness op Prince Canino — Unable to Decide upon a 
proper Course — ^Visit to Mill Grove and Fatland — Dr. Harlan's 
EXTREME Kindness — A noble Gift — Letters of Introduction. 

Audubon reached Philadelphia on April 5, 1824. The journey- 
to that city was undertaken as a desperate venture to obtain 
help to complete his ornithological work, and he was soon satis- 
fied that the venture would be successful. 

" I purchased a new suit of clothes, and dressed myself with 
extreme neatness ; after which I called upon Dr. Mease, an 
old friend. I was received with kindness, and was introduced 
to a German named Barle, who exhibited my drawings. I was 
also introduced to several artists, who paid me pleasant attentions,, 
and I also obtained entrance to the Philadelphia Athenaeum 
and Philosophical Library. I was fortunate in obtaining an 
introduction to the portrait-painter. Sully, a man after my own 
heart, and who showed me great kindnesses. He was a beau- 
tiful singer, and an artist whose hints and advice were of great 
service to me. I afterwards saw Sully in London, where he was 
painting a portrait of the Queen of England, and had an 
opportunity of returning his kindnesses. 


"April 10. I was introduced to the Prince Canino, son of 
Lucien, and nephew of Napoleon Buonaparte, who examined 
my birds, and was complimentary in his praises. He was 
at the time engaged' on a volume of American birds, which 
was soon to be published ; but this did not prevent him from 
admiring another naturalist's work. 

" A^il 12. Met the prince at Dr. Mease's, and he expressed 
a wish to examine my drawings more particularly. I found 
him very gentlemanly. He called in his carriage, took me to 
Peel, the artist who was drawing specimens of birds for his 
work ; but from want of knowledge of the habits of birds in 
a wild state, he represented them as if seated for a portrait, 
instead of with their own lively animated ways when seeking 
their natural food or pleasure. Other notable persons called 
to see my drawings, and encouraged me with their remarks. 
The Prince of Canino introduced me to the Academy of Arts 
and Sciences, and pronounced my birds superb, and worthy of a 
pupil of David. I formed the acquaintance of Le Sueur, the 
zoologist and artist, who was greatly delighted with my drawings. 

" April 14. After breakfast met the prince, who called 
with me on Mr. Lawson, the engraver of Mr. Wilson's plates. 
This gentleman's figure nearly reached the roof, his face was 
sympathetically long, and his tongue was so long that we 
obtained no opportunity of speaking in his company. Lawson 
said my di-awings were too soft, too much Mke oil paintings, and 
objected to engrave them. Mr. Fairman we found to be an 
engraver better able to appreciate my drawings, but he strongly 
advised me to go to England, to have them engraved in a 
superior manner. 

" April 15. I obtained a room, and commenced work in 
earnest. Prince Canino engaged me to superintend his drawings 
intended for publication, but my terms being much dearer than 
Alexander Wilson asked, I was asked to discontinue this work. 
I had now determined to go to Europe with my 'treasures,' 
since I was assured nothing so fine in the way of ornithological 
representations existed. I worked incessantly to complete my 
series of drawings. On inquiry, I found Sully and Le Sueur 
made a poor living by their brush. I had some pupils offered 
at a dollar per lesson ; but I found the citizens unwilling 


to pay for art, although they affected to patronize it. I ex- 
hibited my drawings for a week, but found the show did not pay, 
and so determined to remove myself. I was introduced to 
Mr. Ensel of Boston, an entomologist, then engaged upon a work 
on American spiders. Those interested in Wilson's book on the 
American birds advised me not to publish, and not only cold 
water, but ice, was poured upon my undertaking. Had a visit 
from my old partner Eosier, who was still thirsting for money. 

"May 30. My dear friend Joseph Mason paid me a de- 
lightful visit to-day. Showed all my drawings to Titian Peel, 
who in return refused to let me see a new bird in his possession. 
This little incident fills me with grief at the narrow spirit of 
humanity, and makes me wish for the solitude of the woods. 

" JMwe 12. Giving lessons in drawing at thirty dollars per 
month. A visit from Kembrandt Peel, who liked my drawings, 
and asked me to his studio, where I saw his portrait of General 
Washington, but preferred the style of Sully. Had a visit from 
Mr. Murtrie, the naturalist, whose study of shells has made 
him famous. He advised me to take my drawings to England. 
I labour assiduously at oil painting, I have now been twenty- 
five years pursuing my ornithological studies. Prince Canino 
often visited me and admired my drawings. He advised me to 
go to France, but he replied coldly to my application for aid to 
carry out this purpose. The French consul was warmer in his 
sympathies, and kind in his encouraging assurances. 

"June 26. Anxious to carry out my project of a visit to 
Europe — anxious to see my wife before leaving — anxious to see 
my old quarters of Mill Grove — anxious to get more instruction 
from my kind master, Sully; and altogether unable to settle 
what course would be the more preferable. I was rejoiced at 
the progress I made in oil painting, and was overwhelmed 
with the goodness of Sully, who would receive no recompense 
for his instructions, and gave me all the possible encouragement 
which his affectionate heart could dictate. 

" July 12. Visited by Mr. Gilpin, who thirty-three years ago 
discovered the lead ore on Mill Grove. Called on Dr. Harlan, 
an amiable physician and naturalist, and a member of the 
Academy of Arts and Sciences. Gave him some of my draw- 
ings, and he promised me letters to the Royal Academy of 


France, and afterwards nominated me for membership to the 
Academy in Philadelphia. He was one of the best men I have 
met with in the city, and the very best among the naturalists." 

This was the beginning of a warm friendship between these two 
good men, which increased with time, and lasted until the doctor 
died. At the same time Audubon formed a friendship with 
Edward Hands, a young ornithologist of refinement, wealth, and 
education, who outlived Audubon, and extended prompt relief 
to his wife during her distress after her husband's death. 
When the naturalist was about to leave Philadelphia, Hands 
purchased some of his drawings, and on being offered his picture 
of the Falls of the Ohio, at a sacrifice, declined the purchase, 
but as he was saying good-bye, squeezed a hundred-dollar bill 
into his friend's hand, saying, " Mr. Audubon, accept this from 
me ; men like you ought not to want for money." 

" I could only express my gratitude by insisting on his receiving 
the drawings of all my French birds, which he did, and I was 
relieved. This is the second instance of disinterested generosity I 
have met with in my life, the good Dr. Provan of Natchez being 
the other. And now I have in hand one hundred and thirty dollars 
to begin my journey of three thousand miles. Before this I 
have always thought I could work my way through the world 
by my industry ; but I see that I shall have to leave here, as 
Wilson often did, without a cent in my pocket. 

" July 26. Eeuben Haines, a generous friend, invited me to 
visit Mill Grove in his carriage, and I was impatient until the 
day came. His wife, a beautiful woman, and her daughter, 
accompanied us. On the way my heart swelled with many 
thoughts of what my life had been there, of the scenes I had 
passed through since, and of my condition now. As we entered 
the avenue leading to Mill Grove, every step brought to my 
mind the memory of past years, and I was bewildered by the 
recollections until we reached the door of the house, which had 
once been the residence of my father as well as myself. The 
cordial welcome of Mr. Watherell, the owner, was extremely 
agreeable. After resting a few moments, I abruptly took my 
hat and ran wildly towards the woods, to the grotto where I 
first heard from my wife the acknowledgment that I was not 
indifferent to her. It had been torn down, and some stones 


carted away ; but raising my eyes towards heaven, I repeated 
the promise we had mutually made. We dined at Mill G-rove, 
and as I entered the parlour I stood motionless for a moment on 
the spot where my wife and myself were for ever joined. Every- 
body was kind to me, and invited me to come to the Grove 
whenever I visited Pennsylvania, and I returned full of delight. 
Gave Mr. Haines my portrait, drawn by myself, on condition 
that he should have it copied in case of my death before 
making another, and send it to my wife. 

" July 31. Engaged in preparations for leaving Philadelphia, 
where I received many letters of introduction. Among them 
are the following : — 

« ' Deae Sie, " ' ^^^^^^'^ ^^^^«^' ^^'^•' 

" ' It is hardly necessary for Mr. Audubon to take credentials 
for an introduction to you ; the inspection of one of his drawings 
of birds will be suiScient recommendation to your notice. Yet 
an acquaintance with him of several montlis enables me to 
speak of him as a man, and I would consent to forfeit all claims 
to discernment of character if he does not merit your esteem. 

" ' Sincerely your friend, 

" ' Thomas Sully!' " 

" ' Deae Sie " ' Washington Alston, Esq., 

" ' Mr. Audubon will call on you with this, and will be pleased 
to show you specimens of his drawings in ornithology. He is 
engaged in preparing a work on this subject for publication, 
which for copiousness and talent bids fair in my estimation to 
surpass all that has yet been done, at least in this country. I 
have great esteem for the character of Mr. Audubon, and am 
pleased to make him known to you, though I should hesitate to 
give a letter of introduction to you in favour of an ordinary 
person, knowing that your time is precious ; but in the present 
instance I run no risk of intrusion, I shall always remember 
you with affectionate regard. 

" ' Sincerely your friend, 

" ' Thomas Sully.' " 

A letter of similar import was given by Mr. Sully to Colonel 



Joseph Buonapaete — Inteoduction to the New Yoek Lyceum, and 
Ebcbption by the Mbmbbes — Inquibibs about the Publication op hib 
Volume on Bieds, and Dismal Anticipations — Leaves New Yoek, 
AND Aeeival at Albany — Visit to Niagaba, and Exteaoedinaey 
Impeessions — Passage in Schoonee aoeoss Lake Eeie — Stoem, and 
Eescue op Dea wings — Adventukes at Meadvillb — Abbival and Eb- 
cbption AT Pittsbueq. 

" August 1, 1824. I left Philadelphia for New York yesterday 
at £re o'clock in good health, free from debt and free from 
anxiety about the future. On arriving at New York a cart 
took our luggage to our lodgings, and about one hundred 
passengers perched about us, as I have seen chimney swallows 
perched on a roof before their morning flight. I felt happy 
and comfortable in the city, and sauntered about admiring 
its beautiful streets and landings. I found most of the parties 
to whom I carried letters of introduction absent, and I already 
began to regret leaving Philadelphia so hurriedly. I began to 
consider whether I should visit Albany or Boston, in the hope 
of improving my financial position. 

" August 2. Met Joseph Buonaparte, and his two daughters, 
and his nephew, Charles, Prince of Canino. Visited the museum 
at New York, and found the specimens of stuffed birds set up in 
unnatural and constrained attitudes. This appears to be the 
universal practice, and the world owes to me the adoption of the 
plan of drawing from animated nature. Wilson is the only one 
who has in any tolerable degree adopted my plan. 

" August 3. Called on Vanderlyn, and was kindly received by 


him. Examined his pictures with pleasure, and saw the medal 
given him by Napoleon, but was not impressed with the idea 
that he was a great painter. 

" August 4. Galled on Dr. Mitchell with my letters of intro- 
duction, who gave me a kind letter of introduction to his friend 
Dr. Barmies, explaining that I wished to show my drawings to 
the members of the Lyceum, and become a member of that 

" August 9. I have been making inquiries regarding the 
publication of my drawings in New York ; but find ;that there 
is little prospect of the undertaking being favourably received, 
I have reason to suspect that unfriendly communications have 
been sent to the publishers from Philadelphia, by parties inte- 
rested in Wilson's volume, and who have represented that my 
drawings have not been wholly done by myself. Full of despair, 
I look to Europe as my only hope. With my friend Dr. De Kay 
I visited the Lyceum, and my portfolio was examined by the 
members of the institute, among whom I felt awkward and 
uncomfortable. After living among such people I feel clouded 
and depressed. Eemember that I have done nothing, and fear 
I may die unknown. I feel I am strange to all but the birds of 
America. In a few days I shall be in the woods and quite 

" August 10. My spirits low, and long for the woods again ; 
but the prospect of becoming known prompts me to remain 
another day. Met the artist Vanderlyn, who asked me to 
give him a sitting for a portrait of General Jackson, since my 
figm"e considerably resembled that of the General, more than 
any he had ever seen. I likewise sketched my landlady and 
child, and filled my time. 

" August 15. Sailed up the Hudson for Albany with three 
hundred and seventy-five passengers, twenty-three of whom 
were composed of a delegation of Indians from six tribes, who 
were returning to the West from Washington. Arrived at 
Albany, but found both Dewitt Clinton and Dr. Beck absent. 
Money, getting scarce, I abandoned the idea bf visiting Boston, 
but determined to see Niagara. Engaged a passage at seven 
dollars on a canal-boat for Eochester, N. V., distant two hundred 
and sixty-eight miles. No incident happened to me worth 


recording, only that the passengers were doubtful whether or 
not I was a government officer, comniissioner, or spy. I ob- 
tained some new birds by the way, and in six days I arrived at 

" Boehester, August 22. Five years ago there were but few 
buildings here, and the population is now five thousand; the 
banks of the river are lined with mills and factories. The 
beautiful falls of the Genesee Eiver, about eighty feet high and 
four times as broad, I have visited, and have made a slight 
sketch of them. One and a half miles below is another fall of 
the same height, but the water is much more broken in its 

" August 24. Took passage for Buffalo, arrived safely, and 
passed a sleepless night, as most of my nights have been since 
I began my wanderings. Left next morning for the Falls of 
Niagara : the country is poor, the soil stiff white clay, and the 
people are lank and sallow. Arrived at the hotel, found but 
few visitors, recorded my name, and wrote under it, 'who, 
like Wilson, will ramble, but never, like that great man, die 
under the lash of a bookseller.' 

" All trembling I reached the Falls of Niagara, and oh, what a 
scene ! my blood shudders still, although I am not a coward, at 
the grandeur of the Creator's power ; and I gazed motionless on 
this new display of the irresistible force of one of His elements. 
The falls, the rainbow, the rapids, and the surroundings all 
unite to strike the senses with awe ; they defy description with 
pen or pencil ; and a view satisfied me that Niagara never had 
been, and never will be painted. I moved towards the rapids, 
over which there is a bridge to Goat Island, that I would like 
to have crossed, to look on the water which was rushing with 
indescribable swiftness below, but was deterred from the low 
state of my funds. Walking along the edge of the stream for a 
few hundred yards, the full effect of the whole grand rush of 
the water was before me. The colour of the water was a verdi- 
giis green, and contrasted remarkably with the falling- .torrent. 
The mist of the spray mounted to the clouds, while the roaring 
below sounded like constant heavy thunder, making me think 
at times that the earth was shaking also. 

"From this point I could see three-quarters of a mile down 


the river, wLich appeared quite calm. I descended a flight of 
about seventy steps, and walked and crouched on my hams 
along a rugged slippery path to the edge of the river, where a 
man and a skiff are always waiting to take visitors to the 
opposite shore. I approached as near the falling water as 1 
could, without losing sight of the objects behind me. In a few 
moments my clothes were, wet. I retired a few hundred yards 
•to admire two beautiful rainbows, which seemed to surround me, 
and also looked as if spanning obliquely from the American to 
the Canadian shore. Visitors can walk under the falling sheet of 
water, and see through it, while at their feet are thousands of 
eels lying side by side, trying vainly to ascend the torrent. 

" I afterwards strolled through the village to find some bread 
and milk, and ate a good dinner for twelve cents. Went to 
bed at night thinking of Franklin eating his roll in the streets 
of Philadelphia, of Goldsmith travelling by the help of his 
musical powers, and of other great men who had worked their 
way through hardships and difficulties to fame, and fell asleep 
hoping, by persevering industry, to make a name for myself 
among my countrymen. 

" Buffalo, August 25. This village was utterly destroyed by 
fire in the war of eighteen hundred and twelve, but now has 
about two hundred houses, a bank, and daily mail. It is now 
filled with Indians, who have come here to receive their annuity 
from the government. The chief Eed Jacket is a noble-looking 
man ; another, called the Devil's Ramrod, has a savage look. 
Took a deck-passage on board a schooner bound to Erie, Penn- 
sylvania ; fare one dollar and fifty cents, to furnish my own bed 
and provisions; iny buffalo-robe and blanket served for the 
former. The captain invited me to sleep in the cabin ; but I 
declined, as I never encroach where I have no right. The sky 
was serene, and I threw myself on the deck contemplating the 
unfathomable immensity above me, and contrasting the comforts 
which ten days before I was enjoying with my present con- 
dition. Even the sailors, ignorant of my name, look on me as 
a poor devil not able to pay for a cabin passage. 

" In our voyage we had safely run the distance to Presque 
Isle Harbour, but could not pass the bar on account of a violent 
gale. The anchor was dropped, and we remained on board 


during the night. How long we might have remained at 
anchor I cannot tell, had not Captain Judd, of the United States 
Navy, then probably commandant at Presqiie Isle, sent a gig 
with six men to our relief. It was on the 29th of August, 1824, 
and never shall I forget that morning. My drawings were put 
into the boat with the greatest care. We shifted into it, and 
seated ourselves according to direction. Our brave fellows 
pulled hard, and every moment brought us nearer to the* 
American shore ; I leaped upon it with elated heart. My draw- 
ings were safely landed, and for anything, else I cared little at 
the moment. After a humble meal of bread and milk, a 
companion and myself settled to proceed upon our journey. 
Our luggage was rather heavy, so we hired a cart to take it to 
Meadville, for which we offered five dollars. This sum was 
accepted, and we set off. 

" The country through which we passed might have proved 
favourable to our pursuits, had it not rained nearly the whole 
day. At night we alighted, and put up at a house belonging to 
our conductor's father. It was Sunday night. The good folks 
had not yet returned from a distant church, the grandmother of 
our driver being the only individual about the premises. We 
found her a cheerful dame, who bestirred herself actively, got 
up a blazing fire to dry our wet clothes, and she put bread and 
milk on the table. We asked for a place in which to rest, and 
were shown into a room in which were several beds. My 
companion and myself was soon in bed and asleep; but our 
slumbers were broken by a light, which we found to be carried 
by three young damsels, who, having observed where we lay, 
blew it out and got into a bed opposite ours. As we had not 
spoken, the girls supposed we were sound asleep, and we heard 
them say how delighted they would be to have their portraits 
taken as well as their grandmother, whose likeness I had 
promised to draw. Day dawned, and as we were dressing we 
discovered the girls had dressed in silence and left us before we 
had awakened. No sooner had I offered to draw the portraits of 
the girls than they disappeared, and soon returned in their 
Sunday clothes. The black chalk was at work in a few minutes, 
to their great delight ; and while the flavour of the breakfast 
reached my sensitive nose, I worked with redoubled ardour. 


The sketches were soon finished, and the breakfast over. I 
played a few airs on my flageolet while our guide was putting 
the horses to the cart, and by ten o'clock we were once more on 
the road to Meadville. 

"The country was covered with heavy timber, principally 
evergreens ; the pines and cucumber trees, loaded with brilliant 
fruits, and the spruce, throwing a shade over the land, in good 
teeping with the picture. The lateness of the crops alone 
struck us as unpleasant. At length we came in sight of French 
Creek, and soon after we reached MeadviUe. Here we paid the 
five dollars promised to our conductor, who instantly faced 
about, and applying the whip to his nags bade us adieu. 

" We had now only one hundred and iifty cents. No time was 
to be lost. We put our luggage and ourselves under the roof 
of a tavern-keeper, known by the name of J. F. Smith, at the 
sign of the 'Travellers' Eest,' and soon after took a walk to 
survey the little village that was to be laid under contribution 
for our support. Putting my portfolio under my arm, and a 
few good credentials in my pocket, I walked up the main 
street, looking to the right and left, examining the different 
hsads which occurred, until I fixed my eyes on a gentleman in 
a store who looked as if he might want a sketch. I begged him 
to allow me to sit down. This granted, I remained perfectly 
silent, and he soon asked me what was in that 'portfolio.' 
The words sounded well, and without waiting another instant I 
opened it to his view. He was a Hollander, who complimented 
me on the execution of the drawings of birds and flowers in my 
portfolio. Showing him a sketch of the best friend I have in 
the world at present, I asked him if he would like one in the 
same style of himself ? He not only answered in the affiima- 
tive, but assured me that he would exert himself in procuring 
as many more customers as he could. I thanked him, and 
returned to the ' Travellers' Eest ' with a hope that to-morrow 
might prove propitious. Supper was ready, and we began our 
meal. I was looked on as a missionary priest, on account of 
my hair, which in those days flowed loosely on my shoulders. 
I was asked to say grace, which I did with a fervent spirit. 
Next morning I visited the merchant, and succeeded in making 
a sketch of him that pleased him highly. While working at 


him the room became crowded with the village aristocracy. 
Some laughed, while others expressed their wonder, but my 
work went on. My sitter inrited me to spend the evening with 
him, which I did, and joined him in some music on the flute 
and violin. I returned to my companion with great pleasure ; 
and you may judge how much that pleasure was increased when 
I found that he also had made two sketches. Having written a 
page or two of our journals, we retired to rest. With our 
pockets replenished we soon afterwards left for Pittsburg, where 
we arrived in safety. 

"Septemler 7. I was more politely received than on former 
occasions at Pittsburg, and which I found was due to the recep- 
tion I had met with in Philadelphia, and some rumours of which 
had reached the West. 

! "October 9. Spent one month at Pittsburg scouring the 
country for birds, and continuing my drawings. Made the ac- 
quaintance of the Eev. John H. Hopkins. Pound him an 
amiable man, and attended some of his ministrations " (the first 
reference made in his journal to church-going). " In my mind 
church attendance has been confounded with such rascally 
conduct otherwise that I cannot think of it without sadness. I 
met a Mr. Baldwin, who volunteered to subscribe for my book 
of birds — the third hundred name given to me .In the course of 
my intimacy with the Eev. Mr. Hopkins I was brought to think 
more than I usually did of religious matters ; but 1 confess I 
never think of churches without feeling sick at heart at the 
sham and show of some of their professors. To repay evils 
with kindness is the religion I was taught to practise, and tin's 
will for ever be my rule." 




South — Abandonment of the Expedition — Akbival at Cincinnati — 
Visit to Louisville, and Meeting with his Son Victor — Voyage to 
Batou Saba — A Plague-stbicken Town — Advestueb in the Woods — 
Meeting Mbs. Audubon — Tubns Dancing-mastee — A Droll Scene — 
A Successful Speculation — Visit to England, and Completion of 
THE Oenithological Woek foeeseen. 

" October 24. Fob some days I haye been meditating on pur- 
chasing a skiff and going down the Ohio and Mississippi in it, as 
I had done years before. I purchased a boat, and filling it with 
provisions, bade my friends adieu, and started in company with 
an artist, a doctor, and an Irishman. I hauled up the boat at 
night and slept in it. 

" October 29. Reached Wheeling after suffering much from 
wet and rain. The artist and doctor were disgusted with boat- 
ing, and left. The Irishman was tired of his bargain. My 
finances were very low. I tried to sell some lithographs of 
Greneral Lafayette, but did not succeed. I sold my skiff, and 
took passage in a keel-boat to Cincinnati, with a lot of passen- 
gers, army officers, and others. I arrived at Cincinnati, visited 
my old house, and met many old friends in that city. 

" While at Cincinnati I was beset by claims for the payment 
of articles which years before had been ordered for the museum, 
but from which I got no benefit. Without money or the means of 
making it, I applied to Messrs. Keating and Bell for the loan of 
fifteen dollars, but had not the courage to do so until I had 


walked past their house several times, unable to make up my 
mind how to ask the favour. I got the loan cheerfully, and 
took a deck-passage to Louisville. I was allowed to take my 
meals in the cabin, and at night slept among some shavings I 
managed to scrape together. The spirit of contentment which 
I now feel is strange — it borders on the sublime ; and enthusiast 
or lunatic — as some of my relatives will have me — I am glad to 
possess such a spirit. 

"Louisville, November 20. Took lodgings at the house of a 
person to whom I had given lessons, and hastened to shipping 
port to see my son Victor. Eeceived a letter from General 
Jackson, with an introduction to the Governor of Florida. I 
discover that my friends think only of my apparel, and those 
upon whom I have conferred acts of kindness prefer to remind 
me of my errors. I decide to go down the Mississippi to my 
old home of Bayou Sara, and there open a school, with the 
profits of which to complete my ornithological studies. Engage 
a passage for eight dollars. 

"I arrived at Bayou Sara with rent and wasted clothes and 
uncut hair, and altogether looking like the Wandering Jew. 

" The steamer which brought me was on her way to New 
-Orleans, and I was put ashore in a small boat about midnight, 
and left to grope my way on a dark, rainy, and sultry night to 
the village, about one mile distant. That awful scourge the 
yellow fever prevailed, and was taking off the citizens with 
greater rapidity than had ever before been known. "When I 
arrived, the desolation was so great that one large hotel was 
deserted, and I walked in, finding the doors all open, and the 
furniture in the house, but not a living person. The inmates 
had all gone to the pine woods. I walked to the Post Office, 
roused the postmaster, and learned to my joy that my wife 
and son were well at Mrs. Perry's. He had no accommodation 
for me, but recommended me to a tavern where I might find a 
bed. The atmosphere was calm, heavy, and suffocating, and it 
seemed to me as if I were breathing death while hunting for 
this tavern ; finding it, the landlord told me he had not a spare 
bed, but mentioned a German at the end of the village who 
might take me in ; off there I walked, and was kindly received. 
The German was a man of cultivation and taste, and a lover of 



natural science, and had collected a variety of interesting 
objects. He gave me some refreshment, and offered me a 
horse to ride to Mrs. Perry's. The horse was soon at the door, 
and with many thanks I bade him adieu. My anxiety to reach 
my beloved wife and child was so great that I resolved to make 
a straight course through the woods, which I thought I knew 
thoroughly, and hardly caring where I should cross the bayou. 
In less than two hours I reached its shores, but the horse re- 
fused to enter the water, and snorting suddenly, turned and 
made off through the woods, as if desirous of crossing at some 
other place, and when he reached the shore again walked in, 
and crossed me safely to the other side. The sky was overcast, 
and the mosquitoes plentiful ; but I thought I recognized the 
spot where I had watched the habits of a wild cat, or a deer, as 
the clouds broke away, and the stars now and then peeped 
through to help me make my way through the gloomy forests. 
But in this I was mistaken, for when day dawned I found my- 
self in woods which were unknown to me. However, I chanced 
to meet a black man, who told me where I was, and that I had 
passed Mrs. Perry's plantation two miles. Turning my horse's 
head, and putting spurs to him, a brisk gallop soon brought me 
to the house. It was early, but I found my beloved wife up 
and engaged in giving a lesson to her pupils, and, holding and 
kissing her, I was qnce more happy, and all my toils and trials 
were forgotten. 

" December 1. After a few days' rest I began to think of the 
future, and to look about to see what I could do to hasten the 
publication of my drawings. My wife was receiving a large 
income — nearly three thousand dollars a year — from her industry 
and talents, which she generously offered me to help forward 
their publication ; and I resolved on a new effort to increase 
the amount by my own energy and labour. Numerous pupils 
desired lessons in music, French, and drawing. From Woodville 
I received a special invitation to teach dancing, and a class of 
sixty was soon organized. I went to begin my duties, dressed 
myself at the hotel, and with my fiddle under my arm entered 
the ball-room. I found my music bighly appreciated, and im- 
mediately commenced proceedings. 

" I placed all the gentlemen in a line reaching across the hall. 


thinking to give the young ladies time to compose themselves 
and get ready when they were called. How I toiled before 
I could get one graceful step or motion ! I broke my bow and 
nearly my violin in my excitement and impatience! The 
gentlemen were soon fatigued. The ladies were next placed 
in the same order and made to walk the steps ; and then came 
the trial for both parties to proceed at the same time, while I 
pushed one here and another there, and was all the while 
singing myself, to assist their movements. Many of the parents 
were present, and were delighted. After this first lesson was 
over I was requested to dance to my own musio, which I did 
until the whole room came down in thunders of applause in 
clapping of hands and shouting, which put an end to my first 
lesson and to an amusing comedy. Lessons in fencing followed 
to the young gentlemen, and I went to bed extremely fatigued. 

" The dancing speculation fetched two thousand dollars ; and 
with this capital and my wife's savings I was now able to 
foresee a successful issue to my great ornithological work.'' 

The remainder of Audubon's residence at Bayou Sara was 
taken up with preparations for his intended voyage to England, — 
where he expected to find the fame given to all heroes so tardily 
in their own countries. 

H 2 



Audubon Sails from New Orleans foe England on board the Delos — 
Mother Carey's Chickens — Death of. a Young Alligator — Incidents 
of the Voyage — Habits of Dolphins — Meat tested for Poison — 
EicE Bunting reaches the Ship, and is captured by a PBREGRmE 
Falcon — Catching Eudder-fish — Successful Sport. 

" A^ril 26th, 1826. I left my wife and son at Bayou Sara for 
New Orleans on my way to England, and engaged a passage to 
Liverpool on board the ship Delos. The vessel did not sail 
as soon as expected, and I was necessarily delayed at New 
Orleans. I obtained several letters of introduction from persons 
in New Orleans to friends in England, and one from Governor 
Johnson of Louisiana with the seal of the State on it, which 
saved me the trouble of getting a passport. 

" On the 19th of May the steam-tug Hercules towed the 
Delos out to sea, and with light winds we pursued our voyage. 
The time was pleasantly spent shooting birds and catching 
dolphins and sharks, from which I made frequent sketches. 

" May 27. Had Mother Carey's chickens following us, and 
desired to get one of the beautiful birds as they swept past 
pattering the water with their feet, and returning after long 
ranges for scraps of oil and fat floated astern. I dropped one 
with my gun, and the captain kindly ordered a boat to be 
lowered to recover the shot bird. I examined the bjrd and 
found it to be a female. 

" May 31. Saw a small vessel making towards us ; she was 
a suspicious-looking craft, and our crew had pardonable fears 
she might prove to be a pirate. A young fat alb'gator I had 
with me died to day, from being placed among salt instead of 
fresh water — the former being poisonous to the animal. 


"Much troubled with anxious thoughts about the purport 
and expectations of my voyage to England. I had obtained 
many favourable letters of introduction to friends in England, 
which I believed would prove of material assistance, and among 
these was the following : — 

" ' New Orleans, May 16, 1826. 

" ' I have ventured to put in the hands of Mr. John J. Audubon, 
a gentleman of highly respectable scientific acquirements, these 
introductory lines to you, under the persuasion that his acquaint- 
ance cannot fail to be one of extreme interest to you. Mr. 
Audubon is a native of the United States, and has spent more 
than twenty years in all parts of them, devoting most of his 
time to the study of ornithology. He carries with him a col- 
lection of over four hundred drawings, which far surpass any- 
thing of the kind I have yet seen, and aiford the best evidence 
of his skill, and the perfection to which he has carried his 
researches. His object is to find a purchaser or a publisher for 
them, and if you can aid him in this, and introduce him either 
in person or by letter to men of distinction in arts and sciences, 
you will confer much of a favour on me. He has a crowd of 
letters from Mr. Clay, De Witt Clinton, and others for England, 
which will do much for him ; but your introduction to Mr. 
Eoscoe and others may do more. His collection of ornitho- 
logical drawings would prove a most valuable acquisition to 
any museum, or any monied patron of the arts, and, I should 
think, convey a far better idea of American birds than all the 
stuffed birds of all the museums put together. 

" ' Permit me likewise to recommend Mr. Audubon to your 
hospitable attentions; the respectability of his life and his 
family connections entitle him to the good wishes of any 
gentleman, and you will derive much gratification from his 

" ' I am, dear Sir, 

" ' With sincere regard, 

" ' Must truly yours, 

" ' Vincent Notte. 

" ' To RiCHAED Eathbonb, Esq., 


" June 23. Near Cape Florida. This morning we entered the 
Atlantic Ocean from the Florida Straits with a fair wind. The 
land birds have left us. I leave America and my wife and 
children to visit England and Europe and publish my ' Birds 
of America.' 

" In the Gulf of Mexico our vessel was becalmed for many 
days ; the tedium of which we beguiled by catching fish and 
watching their habits. Among the others caught we were 
fortunate in securing several beautiful dolphins. Dolphins 
move in shoals varying from four or five to twenty or more, 
hunting in packs in the waters as wolves pursue their prey on 
land. The object of their pursuit is generally the flying-fish, 
now and then the bonita ; and when nothing better can be had 
they will follow the little rudder-fish and seize it immediately 
under the stern of the ship. The flying-fishes, after having 
escaped for awhile by dint of their great velocity, on being 
again approached by the dolphins, emerge from the water, and 
spreading their broad wing-like fins, sail through the air and 
disperse in all directions, like a covey of timid partridges before 
the rapacious falcon. Some pursue a direct course, others 
diverge on either side, but in a short time they aU drop into 
their natural element. While they are travelling in the air 
their keen and hungry pursuer, like a greyhound, follows in 
their wake, and performing a succession of leaps many feet in 
extent, rapidly gains upon the quarry, which is often seized just 
as it falls into the sea. Dolphins manifest a very remarkable 
sympathy with each other. The moment one of them is hooked 
or grained, as sailors technically name their manner of harpoon- 
ing, those in company make up to it, and remain around until 
the unfortunate fish is pulled on board, when they generally 
move off together, seldom biting at anything thrown out to 
them. This, however, is the case only with the larger in- 
dividuals, which keep apart from the young, in the same manner 
as is observed in several species of birds ; for when the smaller 
dolphins are in large shoals they all remain under the bows 
of the ship, and bite in succession at any sort of line, as if 
determined to see what has become of their lost companions. 
The dolphins caught in the Gulf of Mexico during our voyage 
were suspected to be poisonous ; and to ascertain whether this 


was really the case, ouv cook, who was an African negro, never 
boiled or fried one without placing beside it a dollar. If the 
silver was not tarnished by the time the dolphin was ready for 
the table, the fish was presented to the passengers with tlie 
assurance that it was perfectly good. But as not a single 
individual of the hundred that we caught had the property of 
converting silver into copper, I suspect that our African sage 
was no magician. One morning, that of the 22nd of June, the 
weather sultry, I was surprised, on getting out of my hammock, 
which was slung on deck, to find the water all round swarming 
with dolphins, which were sporting in great glee. The sailors 
assured me that this was a certain ' token of wind,' and, as 
they watched the movement of the fishes, added, ' ay, and a 
fair breeze too.' I caught several dolphins in the course of an 
hour, after which scarcely any remained about the ship. Not a 
breath of air came to our relief all that day, nor even the next. 
" The best bait for the dolphin is a long strip of shark's flesh. 
I think it generally prefers it to the semblance of a flying-fish, 
which, indeed, it does not often seize unless when the ship is 
under weigh, and it is made to rise to the surface. There are 
times, however, when hunger and the absence of their usual 
food will induce the dolphins to dash at any sort of bait; and 
I have seen some caught by means of a piece of white linen 
fastened to a hook. Their appetite is as keen as that of the 
vulture ; and whenever a good opportunity occurs they gorge 
themselves to such a degree that they become an easy prey to 
their enemies, the balaconda and the bottle-nosed porpoise. 
One that had been brained while lazily swimming immediately 
under the stem of our ship was found to have its stomach 
completely crammed with flying-fish, all regularly disposed , side 
by side, with their tails downwards, which suggests that the 
dolphin swallows its prey tail foremost. They looked, in fact, 
like so many salted herrings packed in a box, and were, to the 
number of twenty-two, each six and seven inches in length. 
The usual length of the dolphin caught in the Gulf of Mexico 
is about three feet, and I saw none that exceeded four feet two 
inches. The weight of one of the latter size was only eighteen 
pounds, for this fish is extremely narrow in proportion to its 
length, although rather deep in its form. When just caught, 


the upper fin, which reaches from the forehead to within a short 
distance of the tail, is of a fine dark blue. The upper part of 
the body in its whole length is azure, and the lower parts are of 
a golden hue, mottled irregularly with deep blue spots. 

" One day several small birds, after alighting on the spars, be- 
took themselves to the deck. One of them, a female rice bunting, 
drew our attention more particularly, for, a few moments after 
her arrival, there came down, as if it were in her wake, a beautiful 
peregrine falcon. The plunderer hovered about for awhile, then 
stationed himself on the end of one of the yard-arms, and 
suddenly pouncing on the little gleaner of the meadows, clutched 
her and carried her off in exultation, I was astonished to see 
the falcon feeding on the finch while on the wing with the 
same ease as the Mississippi kite shows while devouring, high in 
air, a red-throated lizard, swept from one of the trees of the 
Louisiana woods. 

" One afternoon we caught two sharks. In one of them we 
found ten young ones alive, and quite capable of swimming, as 
we proved by experiment ; for on casting one of them into .the 
sea it immediately made off, as if it had been accustomed to shift 
for itself. Of another that had been cut in two, the head half 
swam out of our sight. The rest were cut in pieces, as was the 
old shark, as bait for the dolphins, which, 1 have already said, 
are fond of such food. Our captain, who was much intent on 
amusing me, informed me that the rudder-fishes were plentiful 
astern, and immediately set to dressing hooks for the pui-pose of 
catching them. There was now some air above us, the sails 
aloft filled, the ship moved through the water, and the captain 
and I repaired to the cabin window. I was furnished with a 
fine hook, a thread line, and some small bits of bacon, as was 
the captain, and we dropped our bait among the myriads of 
delicate little fishes below. Up they came one after another, 
so fast in succession that, according to my joui-nal, we caught 
three hundred and seventy in about two hours ! What a mess ! 
and how delicious when roasted ! if ever I am again becalmed 
in the Gulf of Mexico, I shall not forget the rudder-fish. The 
little things scarcely measured three inches in length; they 
were thin and deep in form, and afforded excellent eating. It 
was curious to see them keep to the lee of the rudder in a 


compact body, and so Toracious were they, that they actually 
leaped out of the water at the sight of the bait. But the very 
instant that the ship became still they dispersed around her 
sides, and would no longer bite. After drifting along the Florida 
coast a stiff breeze rose, and sweeping us into the Atlantic, sent 
us far upon our favourable voyage." 



Aeriyal at LrvEBPOOL— Liyeepool Feibnds — Drawings Exhibited by 


Intkoduotion to Peofessor Jameson and De. Knox — Edinbuegh — 

TION — Dining with Antiquaeian Society — An extbaoedinaey Bn- 


Wbkneria^n Society — David Brewster — ■ Elected a Mbmbee of 
' Weenerian Society — Gteorge Combe, the Phrenologist — The ad- 
vantage OF wbaeing long Hair — Peicb of the ' Book of Bieds ' — 
Visit to the Earl of Morton at Dalmahoy — Hunting Hawks — 
Francis Jeffrey. 

" July 20, 1826. Landed from tlie Delos at Liverpool, and took 
lodgings at tlie Commercial Hotel. Called at the counting-liouse 
of Gordon and Forstall, and went to deliver my letters to Mr. 
Eathbone, who was absent when I called ; but he forwarded a 
polite note, ia which he invited me to dine and meet Mr. Eoscoe. 

"July 24. Called for Mr. Eathbone at his counting-house, 
and was kindly received, and dined at his house in Duke Street. 
Was introduced to his friend Mr. Eoscoe, and his son-in-law, 
Mr. Pilemon L. Baring. Mr. Eoscoe invited me to his country- 
house next day, and we visited the Botanical Gardens. Ean- 
sacked the city for pastils to make a drawing for Mrs. Eathbone. 

" My drawings are to be exhibited at the Liverpool Exhibi- 
tion. Mr. Eoscoe promised to introduce me to Lord Stanley, 
who, he says, is rather shy. Great anxiety about the success of 
my exhibition, which has proved a complete success. 

"Sunday, July 30. Went to church, and saw a picture of 


Christ Curing the Blind Man, and listened to the singing of 
blind musicians. 

" August 5. I have met Lord Stanley, and found him a frank, 
agreeable man. Tall, broad-boned, well-formed, he reminded 
me of Sully the painter. He said, ' Sir, I am glad to see you.' 
He pointed out one defect in my drawings for which I thanked 
him, but he admired them generally. He spent five hours in 
examining my collection, and said, 'This work is unique, and 
deserves the patronage of the Crown.' He invited me many 
times to come and see him at his town-house in Grosvenor 

Under this date, Audubon writes to his wife : " I am cherished 
by the most notable people in and around Liverpool, and have 
obtained letters of introduction to Baron Humboldt, Sir Walter 
Scott, Sir Humphry Davy, Sir Thomas Lawrence, Hannah 
More, Miss Edgeworth, and your distinguished cousin, Eobert 

" August 9. By the persuasion of friends, the entrance-fee to 
my collection of drawings is to be charged at one shiHing. 
Three and four pounds per day promised well for the success of 
this proposal. Painted a wild turkey, full size, for the Liverpool 
Eoyal Institution. Busy at work painting in my usual toilet, 
with bare neck and bare arms. Dr. Traill and Mr. Eathbone, 
while looking on, were astonished at the speed of my work. 

" At Liverpool I did the portraits of various friends desirous of 
obtaining specimens of my drawing, and Mr. Eathbone suggested 
that I ought to do a large picture, in order that the public might 
have an opportunity of judging of my particular talents. From 
various kind friends I received letters of introduction to many 
distinguished persons. Mr. Eoscoe, in particular, favoured me 
with an extremely kind letter to Miss Edgeworth the novelist, 
in which he makes reference to my pursuits and acquirements 
in flattering language." 

Audubon has copied into his journal many of these letters, 
but the interest of them is not of sufficient import to warrant 
their reproduction. 

By the exhibition of his pictures at the Eoyal Institution, 
Liverpool, he realized lOOZ. ; but he speedily removed to 
Manchester, and carried with him his collection of drawings for 


exhibition in that city. " Dr. Traill, of the Eoyal Institution, 
had ordered all my drawings to be packed up by the curator 
of the museum, and their transport gave me no trouble 

" September 10. I left Liverpool and the many kind friends I 
had made in it. ' In five and a half hours the coach arrived 
at Manchester. I took lodgings in the King's Arms. I strolled 
about the city,"and it seemed to me to be most miserably laid 
out. I was struck by the sallow looks, sad faces, ragged gar- 
ments, and poverty of a large portion of the population, which 
seemed worse off than the negroes of Louisiana. I exhibited my 
pictures in a gallery at Manchester at one shilling for entrance, 
but the result was not satisfactory." 

At Manchester Audubon made the acquaintance of two very 
valuable friends — Mr. Gre^ and Mr. McMurray. He visited 
many families, and was struck with the patriarchal mapner of 
an Englishman who called his son " my love." He enjoyed for 
the first time a day's shooting after the English fashion in the 
neighbourhood of Manchester, but does not appear to have been 
charmed with the sport. It was soon discovered that the 
exhibition of his drawings at Manchester was not going to pay ; 
but he opened a subscription-book for the publication of bis 
work on the Birds of America. 

" Seftemher 28. Eevisited Liverpool to consult about a pro- 
spectus for my book. Stayed with Mr. Eathbone, and met 
there.Mr. John Bohn, the London bookseller, who advised me to 
go to Paris and consult about cost of publication, after which I 
ought to go to London and compare the outlays before fixing 
upon any plan. Mrs. Eathbone desired me to draw the Wild 
Turkey of America the size of my thumb-nail: This she had 
engraved on a precious stone in the form of a seal, and presented 
it to me. 

" Odoher 6. I returned to Manchester, driven in the carriage 
of a friend, and arrived at the hall in which my pictures were 
exhibited, to find that the hall-keeper had been drunk and had 
no returns to make. I stayed about six weeks at Manchester, 
but the exhibition of my pictures did not prosper. I visited 
Matlock, and paid five pounds for spars to take home to my 
wife. I pulled some flowers from the hills she had played over 


when a child, and passed through the village of Bakewell, called 
after some one of her family. 

" I determined to start for Edinburgh, and paying three 
pounds fifteen shillings for coach-hire, started for that city. 

" October 25. Left Manchester for Edinburgh yesterday, follow- 
ing the road by Carlisle into Scotland. Was struck with the 
bleak appearance of the country. The • Scottish shepherds 
looked like the poor mean whites of the Slave-states. The 
coachmen have a mean practice of asking money from the 
passengers after every stage. Arrived at Edinburgh, and called 
with letters of introduction on Professor Jameson and Professor 
Duncan — on Dr. Charles and Dr. Henry at the Infirmary, and 
upon the celebrated anatomist Dr. Knox. Professor Jameson 
received me with the greatest coldness — explained there was 
no chance of me seeing Sir Walter Scott, who was busy with a 
life of Napoleon and a novel, and who lived the life of a recluse. 
He said his own engagements would prevent his calHng for 
some days. 

" Dr. Knox came to me in his rooms dressed in an overgown, 
and with bleeding hands, which he wiped. He read Dr. Traill's 
letter and wished me success, and promised to do all in his 
power for me, and appointed the next day to call upon me 
and introduce some scientific friends to examine my drawings. 
I was much struck with Edinburgh — it is a splendid old 

" The lower class of women (fishwives) resemble the squaws 
of the West. Their rolling gait, inturned toes, and manner of 
carrying burdens on their backs, is exactly that of the Shawnee 
women. Their complexions are either fair, purple, or brown 
as a mulatto. 

" The men wear long whiskers and beards, and are extremely 
uncouth in manners as well as in speech. 

" October 27. Filled with sad forebodings and doubts of all 
progress. Miss Ewart called to see my drawings, and was 
delighted with them. She exclaimed, after looking at them. 
'How delighted Sir Walter Scott would be with them!' I 
presented a letter to Mr. Patrick Neil, the printer, who received 
me with great cordiality, invited me to his house, and promised 
to interest himself for me generally. Mr. Andrew Duncan gave 


me a note to Francis Jeffrey, the famous editor of the ' Edin- 
burgh Review.' 

" October 30. Called on Mr. Francis Jeffrey, who was not at 
home ; wrote a note for him in his library, which I found was 
filled with books tossed about in confusion, pamphlets, portfolios, 
and dirt. 

" Prospects more dull and unpromising ; and I went to 
Mr. Patrick Neil, to express my intention of going on to London, 
as my pictures of the American Birds were evidently not ap- 
preciated in Edinburgh. He remonstrated kindly, spoke en- 
couragingly, and introduced me to Mr. Lizars, the engraver of 
Mr. Selby's Birds. 

" Mr. Lizars had the greatest admiration for Selby, but no 
sooner had he looked into my portfolio than he exclaimed, ' My 
God, I never saw anything like these before ;' and he afterwards 
said the naturalist, Sir William Jardine, ought to see them 

" November 1. Professor Jameson has called, Mr. Lizars 
having, with his warmth of heart, brought the naturalist to see 
my Collection of Birds. The Professor was veiy kind, but his 
manner of speaking of my drawings leaves me to suspect that 
he may have been quizzing me. 

" November 2. Breakfasted with Professor Jameson in his 
splendid house. The Professor's appearance is somewhat re- 
markable and the oddities of his hair are worthy of notice. It 
seems to stand up all over his head and points in various direc- 
tions, so that it looks strange and uncouth. Around a rough 
exterior he owns a generous heart, but which is not at first 
discernible. I felt my career now certain. I was spoken kindly 
of by the newspapers, and in the streets I heard such remarks 
made upon me as — 'that is the French nobleman.' I spent 
three very delightful weeks, dining, breakfasting, and visiting 
many agreeable people in Edinburgh. Professor Jameson 
promised to introduce my work to the public in his ' Natural 
History Magazine,' and Professor Wilson (Christopher North) 
offered me his services in the pages of ' Maga.' 

"Professor Wilson likewise volunteered to introduce me to 
Sir Walter Scott, and Mr. Combe, the phrenologist. Mr. Syme, 
the portrait painter, requested me to sit for my portrait. A 


committee from tlie Eoyal Institution of Edinburgh called upon 
me and offered me the use of the rooms for the exhibition of 
my drawings, and the receipts from this source amounted to £5 
per day. 

" What, however, most pleased me was the offer of Mr. Lizars 
to bring out a first number of my 'Birds of America,' the plates 
to be the size of life. I have obtained from Mr. Eathbone his 
name as a subscriber, and have written to him with a prospectus, 
and explained that I shall travel about with a specimen 
number until I obtained three hundred subscribers, which will 
assure the success of the work. Sir William Jardine, now in 
the midst of his extensive ornithological publicatiou, spends 
many hom-s a day beside me examining my manner of work, 
and he has invited me to make a long visit to his residence in 
the country. 

" November 28. Saw to-day the first-proof of the first engrav- 
ing of my American Birds, and was very well pleased with its 

" November 29. Sir Walter Scott has promised to a friend to 
come and see my drawings. Invited to dine with the Antiquarian 
Society at the Waterloo Hotel. Met the Earl of Elgin at the 
dinner, who was very cordial. The dinner was sumptuous, the 
first course being all Scotch dishes, a novelty to me, and con- 
sisting of marrow-bones, cod-fish heads stuffed with oatmeal and 
garlick, blackpudding, sheepsheads, &c. Lord Elgin presided, 
and after dinner, with an auctioneer's mallet brought the com- 
pany to order by rapping sharply on the table. He then rose 
and said, ' The King, four-times-four !' All rose and drank the 
monarch's health, the president saying, ' ip ! ip ! ip'!' followed 
by sixteeen cheers. Mr. Skein, first secretary to the Society, 
drank my own health, prefacing the toast with many flatteries, 
and which made me feel very faint and chill, I was expected 
to make a speech but could not, and never had tried. Being 
called on for a reply, I said, ' Gentlemen, my incapacity for 
words to respond to your flattering notice is hardly exceeded by 
that of the birds now hanging on the walls of your Institution. 
I am truly obliged to you for your favours, and can only say, 
God bless you all, and may your Society prosper.' I sat down 
with the perspiration running over me, and was glad to drink oif 


a glass of wine that Mr. Lizars kindly handed to me in my 
distress. Some Scottish songs were sung ; and William Allen, 
the famous Scottish painter, concluded the fun by giving a droll 
imitation of the buzzing of a bee about the room, following it 
and striking at it with his handkerchief as if it was flying from 

"November 30. The picture representing myself dressed in a 
wolt's-skin coat is finished, and although the likeness is not good, 
the picture will be hung to-morrow in the Exhibition room. 

" December 1. Lord Elgin and another nobleman visited my 
Exhibition to-day, and talked with me about my work and 
prospects. Fifteen pounds were drawn at the Exhibition to-day. 

" December 2. Breakfasted with the wonderful David Bridges, 
who commenced to dust his furniture with his handkerchief. I 
hear that Professor Wilson has been preparing an article upon 
me and my ornithological labours for ' Blackwood's Magazine.' 
Dined with Dr. Brown, a very amiable man, and met Professor 
Jameson. Sir James Hall and Captain Basil Hall have called 
upon me to-day, the latter making inquiries in reference to 
some purpose to visit the United States. 

" December 3. Nearly finished a painting of the Otter in Trap, 
which Mr. Lizars and Mr. Syme thought excellent. Dr. Knox 
has kindly promised to propose my name for membership of the 
Wernerian Natural History Society of Edinburgh. 

"December 10. My success in Edinburgh borders on the 
miraculous. My book is to be published in numbers containing 
four birds in each the size of life, in a style surpassing anything 
now existing, at two guineas a number. The engravings are 
truly beautiful ; some of them have been coloured and are now 
on exhibition. 

" December 12. Called on Dr. Brewster and read him an 
article on the Carrion Crow. After reading the paper I was 
introduced to Mrs. Brewster, a charming woman, whose manner 
put me at entire ease. 

" December 16. Eeceived a note from Mr. Rathbone, objecting 
to the large size of my book, which he suspected would be 
rather against its popularity. Went to the Wernerian Society 
to show my drawings of the Buzzard. Professor Jameson rose 
and pronounced quite an eulogy upon my labours, and the 


society passed a rote of thanks upon my labours. Professor 
Jameson afterwards proposed me as an honorary member of the 
Society, which was carried by acclamation. 

" Dined with Lady Hunter, mother-in-law to Captain Basil 
Hall, and met Lady 'Mary Clarke, aged eighty-two, who was 
acquainted with Generals Wolfe and Montgomery. I had many 
questions put to me upon subjects connected with America by 
the distinguished guests I met at the house. Captain Basil 
Hall has presented me with a copy of his work upon South 
America, accompanied by a complimentary note. 

" Deeetriber 17. Busy painting two cats fighting over a squirrel. 
Up at candle-light, and worked at the cats till nine o'clock. 

"Bec&mler 19. Went to breakfast with Sir WiUiam Jardine 
and Mr. Selby at Barry's Hotel. I was sauntering along the 
streets, thinking of the beautiful aspects of nature, meditating 
on the power of the great Creator, on the beauty and majesty of 
his works, and of the skill he had given man to study them, 
when the whole train of my thoughts was suddenly arrested by 
a ragged, sickly-looking beggar-boy. His face told of hunger 
and hardship, and I gave him a shilling and passed on. But 
turning again, the child was looking after me, and I beckoned 
to him to return. Taking him back to my lodgings, I gave 
him all the garments I had which were worn, added five shillings 
more in money, gave him my blessing, and sent him away 
rejoicing, and feeling myself as if God had smiled on me. I 
afterwards breakfasted with Sir William, and gave a lesson in 
drawing to him and to Mr. Selby. 

"Beeemher 20. Breakfasted with Mr. George Combe, the 
phrenologist, who» examined my head and afterwards measured 
my skull with the accuracy and professional manner in which 
I measured the heads, bills, and claws of my birds. Among 
other talents, he said I possessed largely the faculties whicli 
would enable me to excel in painting. He noted down his 
observations to read at the Phrenological Society. 

" Eeceived an invitation from the Earl of Morton to visit him 
at his seat at some distance from Edinburgh.'' 

December 22. From the entries in his journal under this date 
it appears he had written to his wife that he intended to 
remove to Newcastle or Glasgow. "I. expect to visit the 



Duke of Northumberland, who has promised to subscribe for 
my work. I have taken to dressing again, and now dress twice 
a-day, and wear silk stockings and pumps. I wear my hair as 
long as usual. I believe it does as much for me as my faintimgs* 
One hiindred subscribers for my book will pay all expenses. 
Some persons are terrified at the sum of one hundred and eighty 
guineas for a work ; but this amount is to be spread over eight 
years, during which time the volumes will be gradually com- 
pleted. I am feted, feasted, elected honorary member of societies, 
making money by my exhibition and by my paintings. It is 
Mr. Audubon here and Mr. Audubon there, and I can only hope 
that Mr. Audubon will not be made a conceited fool at last. 

"December 23. The exhibition of my birds more crowded 
than ever. This day I summed up the receipts, and they 
amounted to eight hundred dollars. I have presented my 
painting of the American Turkeys to the Koyal Institution for 
the use of their rooms. A dealer valued the picture at one 
hundred guineas. 

" Beeemher 25, Christmas. Bought a brooch for Mrs. Audubon. 
Astonished that the Scotch have no religious ceremony on the 
Christmas Day. 

" December 27. Went to Dalmahoy, to the Earl of Morton's 
seat, eight miles from Edinburgh. The countess kindly received 
me, and introduced me to the earl, a small slender man, tottering 
on his feet and weaker than a newly-hatched partridge. He 
welcomed me with tears in his eyes. The countess is about 
forty, not handsome, but fine-looking, fair, fresh complexioned, 
dark flashing eyes, superior intellect and cultivation. She was 
dressed in a rich crimson silk, and her mother in heavy black 

" My bedroom was a superb parlour with yellow furniture and 
yellow hangings. After completing my toilet, dinner is announced, 
and I enter the dining-room, where the servants in livery attend, 
and one in plain clothes hands about the plates in a napkin, so 
that his hand may not touch them. In the morning I visited 
the stables, and saw four splendid Abyssinian horses with tails 
reaching to the ground. I saw in the aviary the falcon-hawks 
used of old for hunting with, and which were to be brought to 
* Italics are our own. Ed. 


the house in order that T might have an opportunity of witness- 
ing their evolutions and flight. The hawks were brought with 
bells and hoods and perched on gloved hands as in the days of 
chivalry. The countess wrote her name in my subscription- 
book, and offered to pay the price in advance. 

" Deeemher 31. Dined with Captain Basil Hall, and met 
Francis Jeffrey and Mr. M'Culloch, the distinguished writer on 
political economy, a plain, simple, and amiable man. Jeffrey is 
a little man, with a serious face and dignified air. He looks 
both shrewd and cunning, and talks with so much volubility he 
is rather displeasing. In the course of the evening Jeffrey 
seemed to discover that if he was Jeffrey I was Audubon." 

I 2 



EDI^^3URGH — The Royal Society — Scott — The Weenebian Society — 
Literary Undeetakikgs — Bdinbuegh People — Sydney Smith and 
A Sbbmon — Leaenbd Company — Coeeespondence with Scott — Miss 
O'Neill the Aoteess — Mrs. Geant — High Company — Peospbctus op 
THE Great Wokk — Obituaey Notice op the Hbeo's Hair. 

" February 3. Dr. Brewster proposed that I should exhibit the 
five plates of my first number of the Birds of America at the 
Eoyal Society this evening. He is a great optician, and advises 
me to get a camera-lucida, so as to take the outline of my birds 
more rapidly and correctly. Such an instrument would be 
useful in saving time, and a great relief in hot weather, since 
outlining is the hardest part of the work, and more than half of 
the labour. I visited the Royal Society at eight o'clock, and 
laid my large sheets on the table : they were examined and 
praised. After this we were all called into the great room, 
and Captain Hall came and took my hand and led me to a seat 
immediately opposite to Sir Walter Scott, the President, where 
I had a perfect view of this great man, and studied nature from 
nature's noblest work. A long lecture followed on the intro- 
duction of the Greek language into England, after which the 
President rose, and all others followed his example. Sir Walter 
came and shook hands with me, asked how the cold weather of 
Edinburgh agreed with me, and so attracted the attention 
of many members to me, as if I had been a distinguished 

" February 10. Visited the Exhibition at the Royal Institution. 


Saw the picture of the Black Cocks, which was put up there for 
public inspection. I know that the birds are composed and 
drawn as well as any birds ever have been ; but what a difference 
exists between the drawing of one bird and the composition of 
a group, and harmonizing them with a landscape and sky, and 
well-adapted foreground ! Who that has ever tried to combine 
these three different conceptions in a single picture has not felt 
a sense of fear while engaged in his work ? I looked long and 
carefully at the picture of a stag painted by Landseer ; — the 
style was good, and the brush was handled with fine effect ; but 
he fails in copying Nature, without which the best work will be 
a failure. A stag, three dogs, and a Highland hunter are intro- 
duced on the canvas ; but the stag has his tongue out and his 
mouth shut ! The principal dog, a greyhound, has the deer 
by one ear, while one of his fore-paws is around his leg, as if in 
the act of fondling with him. The hunter has laced the deer 
by one horn very prettily, and, in the attitude of a ballet-dancer, 
is about to throw another noose over the head of the animal. 
To me, and my friend Bourgeat, or Dr. Pope, such a picture is 
quite a farce ; but it is not so in London, for there are plenty of 
such pictures there, and this one created a great sensation 
among the connoisseurs. 

" Captain Hall invited me to take some of my drawings to 
show Lady Mansfield, who is his particular friend, and who 
expressed a desire to see them. Unfortunately she was not 
at home when we called ; but her three daughters and several 
noblemen who were present examiaed them. The ladies were 
handsome, but seemed haughty, and wanting in that refinement 
of manners and condescending courtesy I had seen in the 
Countess of Morton ; and the gentlemen evinced a like lack of 
good breeding. This- did not disturb me, but I was troubled 
and pained for Captain Hall, who is so instinctively a gentle- 
man, because I saw that he felt hurt and mortified. He re- 
quested me to leave my drawings, which cost me so many days' 
labour, and of which I am so jealous, and I would not add to 
his pain who had proved so kind a friend to me by denying him. 
Lunch was already on the table, but I was not asked to remain, 
and I was truly glad of it, and I went away almost unnoticed, 
and hurried to meet an engagement at the Wernerian rooms. 


" When I entered the rooms of the Wernerian Society, they 
were full as an egg, and I was told by a friend that the large 
assembly had come because of a report that I was to read a 
paper on the habits of the rattlesnake. Professor Graham arose 
soon after my arrival, and said, ' Mr. President, Mr. Audubon 
has arrived.' But I had been too busy to finish the paper, and 
Mr. Lizars explained this for me. My engravings were then 
called for by Professor Jameson, and they were examined and 
highly praised. The paper on the alligator was finished soon 
after, and read before the society. 

" A stranger lately accosted me in the street, and suggested to 
me, that if I would paint an Osago Indian hunting wild turkeys, 
it would take with the public and increase my reputation. No 
doubt it would, for whatever is most strange is most taking now ; 
but so long as my hair iloats over my shoulders I shall probably 
attract attention enough ; and if it hung to my heels it would 
attract more. 

"February 11. Worked all the morning at the Eoyal Insti- 
tution, touching up my pictures hanging there ; several other 
artists came and worked on theirs also. It was quite amusing 
to hear them praising one another, and condemning the 

" February 12. Began the day by working hard on the 
pictures at the rooms of the Scottish Society. And to-day the 
Antiquarian Society held its first meeting since my election. 
It is customary for new members to be present at such times, 
and I went, and though I felt rather sheepish, I was warmly 
congratulated by the members. At one o'clock I visited the 
rooms of the Eoyal Society, which were crowded, and tables 
were set, covered with wine and fruits and other refreshments. 
The ladies were mostly of noble families, and I saw many there 
whom I knew. But the Ladies Mansfield passed me several 
times, without manifesting any recollection of a man who, a few 
days before, had waited on their ladyships, and shown them his 
drawings, not for his pleasure, but their benefit. Sir Walter 
Scott was present, and came towards me and shook hands 
cordially, and pointing to a picture, said, 'Mr. Audubon, many 
such scenes have I witnessed in my younger days.' We 
talked much of all about us, and I would gladly have asked 


him to join me in a glass of wine, but my foolisli habit prevented 
me. Having inquired after the health of his daughters, I 
shortly left him and the room, for I was very hungry; and 
although the table was loaded with delicacies, and the ladies 
were eiijoying them freely, I say it to my shame, that I had not 
the confidence to lay my fingers on a single thing." 

An interval of a week occurs in the journal, and it is explained 
by the fact that Audubon was busily engaged in other compo- 
sitions, and writing twelve letters of introduction to persons in 
America for Captain Basil Hall, and preparing an article on the 
habits of the wild pigeon, which he had been requested to do, 
to read before the Natural History Society. Dr. Brewster saw 
the latter before it was read, and requested permission to publish 
it in his journal. " This," says Aububon, " was killing two 
birds with one stone, because I had promised to write Brewster 
an article. I began that paper on Wednesday, wrote all day, 
and sat up until half-past three the next morning ; and so 
absorbed was my whole soul and spirit in the work, that I felt 
as if I were in the woods of America among the pigeons, and 
my ears were filled with the sound of their rustling wings. 
After sleeping a few hours, I rose and corrected it. Captain 
Hall called a few hours after, read the article, and begged a 
copy : the copy was made, and sent to him at eight o'clock that 
evening. ^ 

" Captain Hall expressed some doubts as to my views respect- 
ing the affection and love of pigeons, as if I made it human, and 
raised the possessors quite above the brutes. I presume the love 
of the mothers for their young is much the same as the love of 
woman for her offspring. There is but one kind of love ; God 
is love, and all his creatures derive theirs from his ; only it is 
modified by the different degrees of intelligence in different 
beings and creatures." 

On February 20, he writes, in a long letter to his wife : " It 
is impossible yet to say how long I shall remain in England ; at 
least until I have spent some months in London. I am doing 
all I can to hasten my plans, but it will take some time to com- 
plete them. The first number of my birds wiU be published in 
March, and on the fifth of the month the ballot takes place to 
decide my election to the Koyal Society, which, if successful. 


will be of great advantage to me ; and whether successful or no 
I shall leave Edinburgh five days after, to visit all the principal 
towns in the three kingdoms, to obtain subscribers for my 

" February 28. A few days of idleness have completely 
sickened me, and given me what is called the blue-devils so 
severely, that I feel that the sooner I go to work and drive them 
off the better. 

" March 1. Mr. Kidd, a promising young artist in landscape, 
only nineteen, breakfasted with me to-day, and we talked on 
painting a long time, and I was charmed with his talents, and 
thought what a difference it would have made in my life if I 
had begun painting in oil at his age and with his ability. It is 
a sad reflection that I have been compelled to hammer and 
stammer as if I were working in opposition to God's wiU, and so 
now am nothing but poor Audubon. I invited him to come to 
my rooms daily, and to eat and drink with me, and give me the 
pleasure of his company and the advantage of his taste in 
painting. I told him of my ardent desire to improve in the 
delightful art, and proposed to begin a new picture, in which he 
should assist with his advice ; and proposing to begin it to- 
morrow, I took down my portfolio, to select a drawing to copy 
in oil. He had never seen my works before, and appeared 
astonished as his eyes ranged over the sheets. He expressed the 
warmest admiration, and said, ' How hopeless must be the task 
of my giving any instniction to one who can draw like this ? 
I pointed out to him that nature is the great study for the 
artist, and assured him that the reason why my works pleased 
him was because they are all exact copies of the works of God, 
who is the great Architect and perfect Artist ; and impressed on 
his mind this fact, that nature indifferently copied is far superior 
to the best idealities. 

"March 3. For the last few days I have worked with my 
brushes, while it has snowed and blowed as if the devil had cut 
the strings of the bags of .liEolus, and turned all its cold blasts 
down upon the mists of Scotland to freeze them into snow. It 
is twenty yeai-s since I have seen such a storm. Dined at 
Mr. Eitchie's, who is a well-meaning man, and has a well-doing 
wife. The company was mixed, and some of the ingredients 


were raw ; there were learned and ignorant, wise tod foolish, 
making up the heterogeneous assembly. I enjoyed myself; but 
there was an actor, named Vandenhoff, who performed some 
theatrical pantomimes, which were disgusting to me. I never 
saw such pranks in good society before : he tucked one lady's 
fan in his boot, and broke it, and made an apology for it, and 
by his familiarity annoyed every one present. I felt more pain 
for his host than shame for himself. During the evening he 
made some unjust remarks about Mr. Lizars, and I rebuked him 
for it, telling him that he was my friend, and a good man. He 
left soon after, to the great relief of all. 

" March 4. To-day the snow is so deep that the mails from all 
quarters are interrupted, and people are waddling through it in 
the streets, and giving a lively representation of a Lapland 
winter. Breakfasted with the Eev. Mr. Newbold, and after- 
wards was toted to church in a sedan chair, I had never been 
in one before, and 1 like to try everything which is going on 
on the face of this strange world. But so long as I have two 
feet and legs, I never desire to try one of these machines again ; 
the quick up-and-down, short-swinging motion, reminded me of 
the sensations I felt during the great earthquake in Kentucky. 
But I was repaid for the ride by hearing a sermon from the 
Eev. Sydney Smith. It was a sermon to me. Oh ! what a soul 
there must be in the body of that famous man; what a mingling 
of energetic and sweet thoughts, what a fount of goodness there 
must be within him ! He made me smile, and he made me think 
more deeply perhaps than I had ever before in my life. He 
interested me now by painting my foibles, and then he pained 
me by portraying my sins, until he made my cheeks crimson 
with shame, and filled my heart with penitential sorrow. And 
I left the church filled with veneration for God, and reverence 
for the wonderful man who is so noble an example of his 
marvellous handywork. We retm'ned to Mr. Newbold's for 
lunch, and from there I walked, tumbled, and pitched home in 
the deep snow." 

March 5. In a letter to Mrs. Audubon of this date, he teUs 
her of his election as a member of the Eoyal Society, and says : 
" So poor Audubon, if not rich, thou wilt be honoured at least, 
and held in esteem among men. 


" March 6. Finished my picture this morning, and like it 
better than any I have painted." [He does not say what this 
picture is, but it is evidently the one mentioned as begun with 
young Kidd.] " Mr. Eitchie, editor of the ' Scotsman,' asked 
for a copy of the first number of my birds, to notice it in his 
paper. Went to the Society of Arts, and saw there many 
beautiful and remarkable inventions, among them a carriage 
propelled by steam, which moved with great rapidity and regu- 
larity. I always enjoy my visits here more than to the literary 
societies. The time for leaving Edinburgh is drawing near, 
but 1 am yet undetermined whether to go first to Glasgow or 
Dublin, or else to Newcastle, and then to Liverpool, Oxford, 
Cambridge, and so on to London ; but I shall soon decide and 

" March 7. Having determined to leave Edinburgh, my first 
course is to settle np all my business affairs, and make prepara- 
tions for the future, and to this end I set about collecting the 
letters promised me by friends to the different places I proposed 
to visit. Professor Jameson and Dr. Brewster have made me 
promise occasionally to contribute some articles for their journals. 
I mentioned to Dr. Brewster the desire I had for a line from 
Sir Walter Scott. He told me he was to dine with him that day, 
and he would mention the subject to him, and he had no doubt 
be would kindly grant it. Passed the evening at a large party 
at Mr. Tytler's, where, among other agreeable ladies and 
gentlemen, I was introduced to Sydney Smith, the famous 
preacher of last Sunday. Saw his fair daughters, and heard them 
sweetly sing ; and he and his daughters appointed next Saturday 
to examine my drawings. 

" March 8, The weather was dreadful last night, wind howl- 
ing, and, what you would hardly expect, the snow six feet deep 
in some places. The mail-carriers from here for London were 
obliged to leave their horses, and go on foot with their bags- 
Wrote the following letter to Sir Walter Scott. 

"'Dear Sik, 

" ' On the eve of my departure to visit all parts of the island, 
and afterwards the principal cities of the Continent, I feel an 
ardent desire to be honoured by being the bearer of a few lines 


from your own hand to whoever you .may please to intro- 
duce me. 

" ' I beg this of you with the hope that my efforts to advance 
ornithological studies, by the publication of my collections and 
manuscripts, may be thought worthy of your kind attentions, 
and an excuse for thus intruding on your precious moments. 
Should you feel the least scruple, please frankly decline it, 
and believe me, dear sir, that I value so highly my first 
reception, when presented to you by my good friend 
Captain Basil Hall, and your subsequent civilities, that I 
never shall cease to be, with the highest respect and admira- 

" ' Your most obedient, humble servant, 

" ' John J. Audubon.' " 

That same evening the following answer was received. 

"'Dear Me. Audubon, 

" ' I am sure you will find many persons better qualified 
than myself to give you a passport to foreign countries, since 
circumstances have prevented our oftener meeting, and my igno- 
rance does not permit me to say anything on the branches of 
natural history of which you are so well possessed. But I can 
easily and truly say, that what I have had the pleasure of see- 
ing, touching your talents and manners, corresponds with all I 
have heard in your favour ; and that I am a sincere believer in 
the extent of your scientific attainments, though I have not the 
knowledge necessary to form an accurate judgment on the 
subject. I sincerely wish much your travels may prove agree- 
able, and remain, 

'■ ' Very much your 

" ' Obedient servant, 

"'Walter Scott.' 
" ' Edinburgh, Marcli 8.' " 

" Spent the evening at Miss O'Neill's, the actress. Several 
ladies and gentlemen of musical ability were present, and after 
tea Miss O'Neill arose and said she would open the concert. 
She was beautifully dressed in plain white muslin, her fine 


auburn hair hanging in flowing ringlets about her neck and 
rose-coloured scarf over her shoulders, looking as differently 
from what she does on the stage as can be imagined. She sang 
and played sweetly, her large, dark, languid eyes expressing the 
deep emotions of her soul. She scarcely left off singing for a 
moment, for as soon as one thing was finished some person 
called for another, and she readily replied, ' Oh, yes ;' and glees, 
duets, and trios followed one another, filling the room with her 
melodies. I thought at last that she must be fatigued, and said 
so to her. But she replied, ' Mr. Audubon, music is like paint- 
ing, it never fatigues if one is fond of it, and I am.' • We had 
an elegant supper, and after that more music, and then more 
refreshments and wine ; this gave new impulse to the song. 
Miss O'Neill played, and called on the singers to accompany her. 
The music travelled along the table, and sometimes leaped across 
it ; gentlemen and ladies took turns, until, looking at my watch, 
I found that it was past two o'clock, when I arose, and, in spite 
of many entreaties, shook hands with Miss O'Neill, bowed to the 
compa^, and made my exit. 

March 13. Breakfasted with the famous Mrs. Grant, her son 
and daughter the only other company. She is aged and very 
deaf, but very intelligent and warm-hearted. We talked of 
America, and she is really the first person I have met here who 
knows much about it. She thought it would not be for the 
benefit of the slaves to set them free suddenly from their masters' 

" Passed a most uncomfortable evening at Sir James Riddell's. 
The company was too high for me, for although Sir James and 
his lady did all that could be desired to entertain me, I did not 
smile nor have a happy thought for the evening ; and had not 
Mrs. Hay and Mrs. Captain HaU been present, I should have 
been very miserable. After dinner, however, my drawings were 
examined and praised, and they seemed to look on me as less a 
bear, and I felt relieved. My good friend Mr. Hay asked a 
young Eussian nobleman who was present if he could not give 
me some letters to his country, but he was silent. I turned to 
Mr. Hay, and thanked him for his kind intentions in such a way 
as to turn the conversation, and relieve his embarrassment. 
The best recommendation I can have is my own talents, and the 


, fruits of my own labours, and what others will not do for me I 
will try and do for myself. I was very sorry that Mr. Hay's 
feelings should have been hurt on my account by the young 
man's silence, but I soon made him at ease again. Sir James 
volunteered to give me letters to Sir Thomas Ackland and Sir 
Eobert Inglis, both noblemen of distinction, and patrons of the 
science I cultivate. The style here far surpassed even Lord 
Morton's ; fine gentlem&n waited on us at table, and two of them 
put my cloak about my shoulders, notwithstanding my remon- 

" March 17. Issued my ' Prospectus ' this morning, for the 
publication of my great work. 

" The Prospectus. 

" To those who have not seen any portion of the author's 
collection of original drawings, it may be proper to state, that 
their superiority consists in the accuracy as to proportion and 
outline, and the variety and truth of the attitudes and positions 
of the figures, resulting from the peculiar means discovered and 
employed by the author, and his attentive examination of the 
objects portrayed during a long series of years. The author 
has not contented himself, as others have done, with single profile 
views, but in very many instances has grouped his figures so as 
to represent the originals at their natural avocations, and has 
placed them on branches of trees, decorated with foliage, blossoms, 
and fruits, or amidst plants of numerous species. Some are 
seen pursuing their prey through the air, searching for food 
amongst the leaves and herbage, sitting in their nests, or feeding 
their young ; whilst others, of a different nature, swiio, wade, 
or glide in or over their allotted element. 

" The insects, reptiles, and fishes that form the food of these 
birds have now and then been introduced into the drawings. 
In every instance where a difference of plumage exists between 
the sexes, both the male and the female have been represented ; 
and the extraordinary changes which some species undergo in 
their progress from youth to maturity have been depicted. The 
plants are all copied from nature, and, as many of the originals 


are remarkable for their beauty, their usefulness, or their rarity, 
the botanist cannot fail to look upon them with delight. 

" The particulars of the plan of the work may be reduced to 
the following heads : 

" I. The size of the work is double elephant folio, the paper 
being of the finest quality. 

"II. The engi'ayings are, in every instance, of the exact 
dimensions of the drawings, which, without any exception, 
represent the birds and other objects of their natural size. 

" III. The plates are coloured in the most careful manner from 
the original drawings. 

" IV. The work appears in numbers, of which five are published 
annually, each number consisting of five plates. 

" V. The price of each number is two guineas, payable on 

Probably no other undertaking of Audubon's life illustrates 
the indomitable character of the man more fully than this pro- 
spectus. He was in a strange country, with no friends but those 
he had made within a few months, and not ready money enough 
in hand to bring out the first number proposed ; and yet he 
entered confidently on this undertaking, which was to cost over 
a hundred thousand dollars, and with no pledge of help, but on 
the other hand discouragements on all sides, and from his best 
friends, of the hopelessness of such an undertaking. 

March 19. Under this date we have an amusing entry. 
Audubon had been frequently importuned by his friends to cut 
his hair, which he had for years worn in ringlets falling to his 
shoulders. Hence the obituary : — 

March 19, 1827. 

This day my Hair was sacrificed, and the will of God usurped by 
the wishes of Man. 

As the Barber clipped my locks rapidly, it reminded me of the hor- 
rible times of the French Eevolution, when the same operation was 
performed upon all the victims murdered by the Guillotine. 

My heart sank low. 



The margin of the sheet is painted black, about three-fourths 
of an inch deep all around, as if in deep mourning for the loss 
which he had reluctantly submitted to in order to please his 
friends. He consented, sadly, because he expected soon to leave 
for London, and Captain Hall persuaded him that it would be 
leiier for him to wear it according to the prevailing English 
fashion ! 



Provincial Canvass foe Subsceibees — Visit to London — Sie Thomas 
Lawbbncb — The American Minister — Picture of the King of 
England's Private Life — The Great Work in Progress — Search 
FOE a Colourbr — Horrors of London — The Great Work Presented 
TO the King. 

Quitting Edinburgh with a high heart, the indomitable 
naturalist began his provincial canvass, meeting, as is usual in 
such cases, with two kinds of treatment — very good and very 
bad. He visited in succession Newcastle, Leeds, York, Shrews- 
bury, and Manchester, securing a few subscribers at two hundred 
pounds a head in each place. His diaiy chronicles minutely all 
his affairs — dining-out, tea-drinking, "receiving," — ^but none 
are very interesting, and all are pervaded, too, by a quite 
feminine flutter of admiration for big people. The only incident 
at all worth recording is a visit paid to Bewick the engraver, 
but as it adds nothing to our knowledge of one who was a real 
genius in his way we pass on to metal more attractive — ^to 
London, where Audubon continued his canvass, with great success 
among the aristocracy. From a confused heap of memoranda 
we take a few notes of this London visit, suppressing much, 
and somewhat doubtful of the relevancy even of what we select. 
" Sir Thomas Lawrence. — My first call on this great artist 
and idolized portrait-painter of Great Britain, whose works are 
known over the whole world, was at half-past eight in the 
morning. I was assured he would be as hard at work at that 
time as I usually am. I took with me my letters and portfolio. 


with some original drawings. The servant said his master was 
in ; I gave my name, and waited about five minutes, when he 
came down from his room. His manner and reception impressed 
me most favourably, and I was surprised to iind him dressed as 
if for the whole day, in a simple but clean garb. He shook my 
hand, read my letters, and so gave me time to glance at the 
marble figures in the room and to examine his face. It did not 
show the marks of genius that I expected in one so eminent, but 
looked pale and pensive. After reading my letters he said he 
was pleased to meet another American' introduced to him by 
his friend Sully, adding, that he wished much to see the 
drawings of a man so highly spoken of, and appointing next 
Thursday to call on me. He took a large card and wrote the 
appointment on it, and put it back in its place. 

" Sir Thomas is no ornithologist, and therefore could not well 
judge of the correctness of the detail of my drawings, which can 
be appreciated fully only by those who are acquainted with the 
science of which I myself am yet only a student. But I found 
that he had a perfect idea of the rules of drawing any object 
wha,tever, as well of the forms and composition, or management 
of the objects offered for the inspection of his keen eyes. I 
thought from his face that he looked at them with astonishment 
and pleasure, although he did not open his hps until I had shown 
the last drawing, when he asked if I ' painted in oils ?' On 
answering him in the affirmative, he invited me to examine his 
rooms. The room where he painted, to my utter astonishment, 
had a southern light : upon his easel was a canvas (kitcat), on 
which was a perfect drawing in black chalk, beautifully finished, 
of a nobleman, and on a large easel a full-size portrait of a 
noble lady, represented in the open air ; and on the latter he went 
to work. I saw that his pallet was enormous, and looked as if 
already prepared with the various tints wanted by some one else, 
and that he had an almost innumerable number of brushes and 
pencils of all descriptions. He now glazed one part of his 
picture, and then retouched another part with fine colours, and 
in a deliberate way which did not indicate that he was in any 
haste to finish it. He next laid down his pallet, and, turning 
to the chalk drawing upon the unpainted canvas, asked me how 
I liked his manner of proceeding ? But as no compliment could 



be paid by me to such an artist, I merely said that I thought it 
the very quintessence of his art. A waiter then entered, and 
announced that breakfast was ready. He invited me to remain 
and join him in his ' humble meal,' which I declined, while we 
walked downstairs together. I remarked on the very large 
number of unfinished portraits I saw : to which he mildly replied, 
' My dear sir, this is my only misfortune ; I cannot tell if I shall 
ever see the day when they will all be finished.' Insisting on 
my remaining to breakfast, I went in ; it consisted of a few 
boiled eggs, some dry toast, and tea and coffee. He took the 
first, and I the last : this finished, I bid him good-morning. It 
was ten o'clock when I left, and as I passed out three carriages 
were waiting at the door ; and had I not been a student in orni- 
thology I would have wished myself a Sir Thomas Lawrence, 
for I thought, that after all the superiority of this wonderful 
man's talents I could with less powers realize more than he by 
my own more constant industry. 

"Sir Thomas afterwards paid me three visits: two at my 
boarding house and one at Mr. Havill's, my 'engraver ; and I 
will tell you something of each of them to show you the kind- 
ness of his heart. It was nine in the morning the first time he 
came ; he looked at some of my drawings of quadrupeds and 
birds, both finished and unfinished. He said nothing of their 
value, but asked me particularly of the prices which I put on 
them. I mentioned the price of several in order, and to my 
surprise he said he would bring me a few purchasers that very 
day if I would remain at home : this I promised, and he left me 
very greatly relieved. In about two hours he returned with 
two gentlemen, to whom he did not introduce me, but who were 
pleased with my work, and one purchased the ' Otter Caught in 
a Trap,' for which he gave me twenty pounds sterling, and the 
other, ' A Group of Common Eabbits,' for fifteen sovereigns. I 
took the pictures to the carriage which stood at the door, and 
they departed, leaving me more amazed than I had been by 
their coming. 

" The second visit was much of the same nature, differing, how- 
ever, chiefly in the number of persons he brought with him, 
which was three instead of two ; each one of whom purchased a 
picture at seven, ten, and thirty-five pounds respectively ; and, 


as before, the party and pictures left togetlier in a splendid 
carriage witli liveried footmen. I longed to know their names, 
but as Sir Thomas was silent respecting them I imitated his 
reticence in restraining my curiosity, and remained in mute 

" The third call of this remarkable man was in consequence of 
my having painted a picture, with the intention of presenting it 
to the King of England, George IV. This picture was the 
original of the ' English Pheasants Surprised by a Spanish Dog.' 
I had shown it to Sir Walter Waller, who was his majesty's 
oculist, and he liked the picture so much, and was so pleased 
with my intention, as was also my friend Mr. Children, the 
curator of the British Museum, that they prevailed on Sir 
Thomas to come and see it. He came, and pushed off my roller 
easel, bade me hold up the picture, walked from one side of the 
room to the other examining it, and then coming to me tapped 
me on the shoulder and said, ' Mr. Audubon, that picture is too 
good to be given away ; his majesty would accept it, but you 
never would be benefited by the gift more than receiving a 
letter from his private secretary, saying that it had been placed 
in his collection. That picture is worth three hundred guineas : 
sell it, and do not give it away.' I thanked him, exhibited the 
picture, refused three hundred guineas for it soon after, kept it 
several years, and at last sold it for one hundred guineas to my 
generous friend John Heppinstall of Sheffield, England, and 
invested the amount in spoons and forks for my good wife. 

" Without the sale of these pictures I was a bankrupt, before 
my work was scarcely begun, and in two days more I should 
have seen all my hopes of the publication blasted ; for Mr. 
Havill (the engraver) had already called to say that on Saturday 
I must pay him sixty pounds. I then was not only not worth 
a penny, but had actually borrowed five pounds a few days 
before to purchase materials for my pictures. But these pictures 
which Sir Thomas sold for me enabled me to pay my borrowed 
money, and to appear full-handed when Mr. Havill called. Thus 
I passed the Eubicon ! 

" At that time I painted all day, and sold my work during 
the dusky hours of evening, as I walked through the Strand 
and other streets where the Jews reigned ; popping in and out 

K 2 


of Jew-shops or any others, and never refusing the offers made 
me for the pidiures I carried quite fresh from the easel. Start- 
ling and surprising as this may seem, it is nevertheless true, 
aaid one of the curious events of my most extraordinary life. 
Let me add here, that I sold seven copies of the ' Entrapped 
Otter ' in London, Manchester, and Liverpool, besides one copy 
presented to my Mend Mr. Richard Rathbone. In other pictures, 
also, I sold from seven to ten copies, merely by changing the 
course of my rambles ; and strange to say, that when in after 
years and better times I called on the different owners to 
whom I had sold the copies, I never found a single one in their 
hands. And I recollect that once,^ through inadvertence, 
when I called at a shop where I had sold a copy of a picture, 
the dealer bought the duplicate at the same price he had given 
for the first ! What has become of all those pictures ?' 

About this date Sir Robert Peel returned a letter Audubon 
had brought ;to him from Lord Meadowbank, and requested him 
to hand it ovsr to his successor. This Audubon interpreted as 
giving him to understand that he need trouble him no more. The 
letter was' written with the view of gaining a presentation to the 
king, and the writer was not a man to easily relinquish an idea or 
an object which he had once determined on. Accordingly, he 
says, " I made up my mind to go directly to the American minister, 
Mr. Gallatin, and know fi'om him hovv I should proceed, and if 
there were really no chance of my approaching the king nearer 
than by passing his castle. To pay a visit of this sort in London 
is really no joke; but as I thought there was a possibility of it 
for myself, 1 wanted to have the opinion of one who I believed 
was capable of deciding the matter. 

" As I reached his presence he said, laughing, ' Always at 
home, my dear sir, when I am not out.' I understood him 
perfectly, and explained the object of my visit. His intellectual 
face lighted up as he replied, ' What a simple man you must be 
to believe all that is said to you about being introduced to his 
majesty ! It is impossible, my dear sir ; the king sees nobody ; 
he has the gout, is peevish, and spends his time playing whist 
at a shilling a rubber. I had to wait six weeks before I was 
presented to him in my position of ambassador, and then I 
merely saw him six or seven minutes. He stood only during 


the time the public functionaries from foreign countries passed 
him, and seated himself immediately afterwards, paying scarcely 
any attention to the numerous court of English noblemen and 
gentlemen present.' I waited a moment, and said that I thought 
the Duke of Northumberland would interest himself for ma 
Again he laughed, and assured me that my attempts there would 
prore ineffectual. ' Think,' continued he ; ' I have called hundreds 
of times on like men in England, and been assured that his 
grace, or lordship, or ladyship, were not at home, until I have 
grown wiser, and stay at home myseK, and merely attend to my 
political business, and God only knows when I will have done 
with that. It requires written appointments of a month 
or six weeks before an interview can be obtained.' I then 
changed the conversation to other subjects, but he kindly re- 
turned to it again, and said, ' Should the king hold a levee 
whilst you are here, I will take you to Court, and present you 
as an American scientific gentleman, but of course would not 
mention your work.' I remained with him a fuU hour ; and, as 
I was about to leave, he asked me for aU the cards I had in my 
case, and said he would use them well, and find me visitors if 

"June 18. The work on the first number is yet in the hands of 
Mr. Lizars, in Edinburgh, and this day I received a letter from 
him, saying that ' the colourers had aU struck work, and that 
my wprk was, in consequence, at a stand.' He asked me to try 
to find some persons here who would engage in that part of the 
business, and said he would exert himself to make all right 
again as soon as possible. This was quite a shock to my nerves, 
and for nearly an hour I deliberated whether I should not go at 
once to Edittburgh, but an engagement at Lord Spencer's, where 
I expected a subscriber, decided me to remain. I reached his 
lordship's house about twelve o'clock, and met there Dr. Walter^ 
ton and the Et. Hon. William S. Ponsonby engaged in conver- 
sation with Lady Spencer, a fat woman, of extremely engaging 
and unassuming manners. She entered into conversation with 
me at once about the habits of the wild turkey, how to tame 
them, and the like ; while the gentlemen examined and praised 
my drawings, and the two lords subscribed for my work ; and I 
went off rejoicing, between two rows of fine waiters, who seemed 


to wonder, who the devil I could be, that Lady Spencer should 
shake me by the hand, and accompany me to the door. 

"From there I went to Mr. Ponton's, and met Dr. Dibdin, 
and twenty ladies and gentlemen, who had assembled to see my 
drawings. Here four more subscribers were obtained. This, I 
thought, was a pretty good day's work ; but on returning home 
I found a note from Mr. Vigors, giving the name of another sub- 
scriber, and informing me of the arrival of Charles Bonaparte 
in the city. I walked to the lodgings of the Prince of Musignano : 
he was out. I left my card, and soon after my return a servant 
told me he was below ; I was not long in getting down stairs, 
and soon grasped his hand ; we were mutually' glad to meet on 
this distant shore. His mustachios and bearded chin and his 
fine head and eye were all unchanged. He wished to see all 
my drawings, and for almost the only time in England I opened 
my portfolio with intense pleasure. He said they were worthy 
to be published, and I felt proud of his opinion. 

"As soon as he had gone my thoughts returned to the 
colourers, and I started off at once to find some, but no success ; 
all the establishments of the kind were closed from want of 
employment. But happening to pass a print-shop, I inquired if 
the proprietor knew of any colourers, and he at once gave me 
the name of one, who offered to work cheaper than I was paying 
in Edinburgh ; and I wrote instantly to Mr. Lizars to send me 
twenty-five copies ; and so I hope all will go on well figain. 
After a long hunt I entered a long dark alley in search of the 
colourers house to which I had been directed. It was ten 
o'clock, and after mounting two stories in search of the man, I 
knocked and a little door was opened. The family were sur- 
prised by the appearance of a stranger, as much as I was by 
what I saw. A young man was sitting by a small window 
drawing ; a woman whom I took to be his mother was washing 
a few potatoes in hot water ; a younger woman nursed a child, 
leaning on the only bed in the room ; and six little children, 
mostly girls, shabby in appearance and sallow in complexion, 
showed that hunger was not a stranger there. The young man 
arose, offered me his seat, and asked me politely what I wanted. 
I told him I was looking for a colourer. He replied that he 
had once worked at it, but had abandoned the business, because 


he was unable to support his large family by it, even to provide 
them bread and potatoes. He showed me the work he was 
doing : it was a caricature of Canning, hiding himself behind 
some Eoman Catholic priests, as if listening to their talk ; each 
one of the priests held a rope in his hand, as if ready to hang 
their opponents, and the whole proved that the man had a good 
knowledge of drawing. Just then the mother told him break- 
fast was ready. The poor man begged me to excuse him, saying 
that he had not tasted anything the day before; that the 
potatoes were a present, he would eat soon, and then tell me of 
some colourers now in the business. , I sat silently, and saw the 
food equally divided; the mother, wife, children, and father 
soon swallowed their share, but it was scarcely enough to 
appease the hunger of the moment. He gave me as he ate the 
names of three men, and, pained by the scene before me, I rose 
to go. Just then the father said to the children and wife, ' It 
is high time you should go to work,' and asking me at the same 
time to remain a few moments longer. The family went off, 
and I felt relieved to know that they had some employment, 
and asked him what it was. He replied, 'Begging, sir.' All 
that family, wife, and half-grown girls, turned out in the streets 
of London to beg. He assured me that with all their united 
exertions they sel'dom had more than one meal a day; and 
that in an extremity a few days before he had been compelled 
to sell his best bed to pay the rent of his miserable room. 
Unfortunately I had but a few shillings with me, because I had 
been advised to carry neither watch nor money in London, and 
had not the gratification of doing much to relieve him. He 
said his caricatures brought him in but little, and that despair 
had prompted him more than once to drown himself, for he was 
only a weight on the neck of his wife and children. Oh ! how 
sick I am of London. 

" June 21. Eeceived a letter from Mr. Lizars, that he must 
discontinue my work. Have made an engagement with 
Mr. Havill for colouring, which I hope will relieve my embarrass- 
ment. Have painted a great deal to-day. 

" June 22. Am invited to dine at the Eoyal Society's Club, 
with Charles Bonaparte. Gave some lessons in drawing to the 
daughter of Mr. Children, Mrs. Atkins : she has fine talents, but 


they are not cultivated so highly as Mrs. Edward Roscoe's. This 
eyening Charles Bonaparte came with Lord Clifton and several 
other gentlemen to examine my drawings. They were all 
learned ornithologists, but they all said that there were birds 
here which they had never dreamed of, and Bonaparte offered 
to name them for me. I was pleased at the suggestion, and 
with a pencil he wrote down upwards of fifty names', and invited 
me to publish them at once in manuscript at the Zoological 
Society. We had charming discussions about birds and their 
habits. Oh that our knowledge could be arranged into a solid 
mass ! I am sure that then the best ornithological publication 
of the birds of my beloved country would be produced. I can- 
not tell you how it strikes me, when I am at Bonaparte's lodgings, 
to hear his servant call him ' Your Eoyal Highness.' I think it 
ridiculous in the extreme, and cannot imagine how good Charles 
can bear it ; but probably he does bear it because he is Good 

" July 2. I am so completely out of spirits, that I have several 
times opened my book, held the pen, and felt anxious to write ; 
but all in vain. I am too dull, too mournful. 

" I have given the copy of my first number of the Birds to 
Mr. Children, a proof : it is the only one in existence, for which 
he paid me the price of all the subscribers, i.e., two guineas, and 
I may say with safety that the two guineas are the only two I 
have had on account of that work. I have finished another 
picture of the Babbits, and am glad of it ; it is all my consola- 
tion. I wish I were out of London." 

But it does not appear that Audubon's despondency lasted 
very long. He dispelled it by a sudden rush into the provinces, 
where he was well received by former friends. From an 
entry made at Leeds on September 30, it is clear that even in 
London the sun had begun to shine out again. 

" Nearly three months since I touched one of the sheets of 
my dear book. Ajad I am quite ashamed of it, for I have had 
several interesting incidents to record, well deserving of relation, 
even in my poor humble style — a style much resembling my 
joainting in oil. Now, nevertheless, I will recapitulate and note 
down as quickly as possible the primary ones. 

" 1. I removed the publication of my ornithological work 


from Edinburgh to London ; from Mr. Lizars to .Mr. Robert 
Havill, No. 79 Newman Street ; because at Edinburgh it came 
on too slowly, and also because I can haye it done better and 
cheaper in London. 

" 2. The King ! My dear Book ! Had my work presented to 
his Majesty by Sir Walter Waller, Bart, K.C.H., at the request 
of my most e:^cellent friend J. P. Children, of the British Museum. 
His Majesty was pleased to call it fine, and permitted me to publish 
it under his particular patronage, approbation, and protection ; 
and became a subscriber on usubI terms, not as kings generally 
do, but as a gentleman. And I look on such a deed as worthy 
of all kings in general. The Duchess of Clarence also put down 
her name ; and aU my friends speak as if a mountain of sove- 
reigns had dropped in an ample purse at once — and for me !" 



Visit to Paeis — Bakon Cuviek — Streets of Pakis — A Pakty at 
Cuviek's — GBorFEOT St. Hilaiee — Reception at the Academy op 
Sciences — The Peince and Peincess d'Bssling — Visits to Geeat 
Officials — Condillot — Poverty of French Academy — More op 
Cuvier and his Home. 

On September 1st, 1828, Audubon quitted London for Paris, 
and his diary freshens a little after the salt breeze of the 
Channel. Much space, however, is as usual devoted to matters 
quite trivial in themselves, and not likely to interest any circle 
beyond the little domestic one for which the pages were intended. 
The enjoyment of fresh scenes is youthful and honest — quite 
milike the pleasure of more sophisticated persons. Indeed, a 
little coquetry, much physical strength, tolerable intelligence, 
intense love of change, all blended with a nature innocent and 
wholesome, formed the character of our wanderer. He roves 
like an Arab, and he prattles like a child ; light-footed as an 
elk in the free air, he turns bovine and ruminant when he tries 
to be wise in cities. 

On arriving in Paris, his first visit was to the Jardin des 
Plantes, and to the great Cuvier. We shall select in series his 
notes on this and other matters, suppressing, as before, all the 
utterly pointless matter which fills up the diary under so many 
a date. 

" We knocked, and asked for Baron Cuvier : he was in, but 
we were told was too busy to be seen. However, being deter- 
mined to look at the great man, we waited and knocked again, 


and with a degree of firmness sent up our names. The messenger 
returned, bowed, and led us up-stairs, where, in a minute, 
Monsieur le Baron, like an excellent good man, came to us, 
He had heard much of my friend Swainson, and greeted him as 
he deserves, and was polite and kind to me, although he had 
never heard of me before. I looked at him, and here follows 
the result. Age, about sixty-five ; size, corpulent, five feet and 
five, English measure ; head large, face wrinkled and brownish ; 
eyes, very brilliant and sparkhng; nose, aquiline, large, and 
red ; mouth, large, with good lips ; teeth, few, and blunted by 
age, excepting one on the lower jaw, which was massive, 
measuring nearly three-quarters of an inch square. This was 
Baron Cuvier j I have described him almost as if a new species 
of a man, from the mere skin. But as he has invited us to 
dine with him next Saturday at six o'clock, and I expect to 
have an opportunity of seeing more of him, I will then describe 
his habits as far as I am able. 

" September 5. After a breakfast of grapes, figs, sardines, and 
French coffee, friend Swainson and I proceeded to the Jardin 
des Plantes, by the side of the river Seine, which here, Lucy, is 
not so large as the Bayou Sara, where I have often watched the 
alligators while bathing. Walking in Paris is disagreeable in the 
extreme. The streets are actually paved, but with scarcely a side 
walk, and a large gutter filled with dirty black water runs 
through the centre of each, and the people go about without 
any kind of order, either along the centre, or near the houses ; 
carriages, carts, and so forth do the same, and I have wondered 
that so few accidents take place. We saw a very ugly iron 
bridge at the entrance called Pont Neuf, where stands the 
splendid statue of Henry IV. We were more attracted, however, 
by the sight of the immense number of birds offered for sale 
along the quays, and saw some rare specimens. A woman took 
us into her house, and showed us some hundreds from Bengal 
and Senegal, which quite surprised us. 

" Weary with walking, we took a cabriolet, that brought us for 
twenty-five sous to the Jardin, and we went to our appointment 
with Baron Cuvier. We saw him, and he gave us a ticket to 
admit us to the Musee, and promised us all we wished. In the 
Musde, M. Valencienne was equally kind. Having in my 


pocket a letter of introduction to Geoffroy de St. Hilaire, we 
went to his house in the gardens, and with liim we were parti- 
cularly pleased. He offered his services with good grace, much 
as an English gentleman would have done. M. Geoffroy 
proved to us that he understood the difference of ideas existing 
^ between English and Frenchmen perfectly. He repeated the 
words of Cuvier, and assured us that ray work had never been 
heard of anywhere, in France. He promised to take us to the 
Academy of Sciences on Monday next. 

" We finally reached home, dressed, and started to dine with 
Baron Cuvier. We arrived within a minute of the appointed 
time, were announced by a servant in livery, as in England, and 
the Baron received and presented us kindly to his only daughter, 
a small, well-made, good-looking lady, with black sparkling eyes, 
and altogether extremely amiable. As I seldom go anywhere 
without meeting some person I have known elsewhere, so it 
proved here. I found among the company which had arrived 
before me a fellow of the Linnsean Society, who knew me, and 
who seemed to have spoken to the Baron and his daughter of 
my work ; and I now perceived a degree of attention from him 
which I had not noticed at my first interview. The Baroness 
came in, an old, good, motherly-looking lady, and the company, 
sixteen in number, being present, dinner was announced. The 
Baroness led the way with a gentleman, the Baron took his 
daughter under his arm, but made Mr. Swainson and myself go 
before him ; and so the company all followed. Mr. Swainson was 
seated next to Mademoiselle Cuvier, who, fortunately for him, 
speaks excellent English. I was opposite her, by the side of the 
Baron, and had at my right elbow the F.L.S. There was not 
the same show of opulence at this dinner that I have seen in 
the same rank in England — no, not by any means ; but we had 
a good dinner, served a la Fran^aiSe : all seemed happy, and all 
went on with more simplicity than in London. The waiter who 
handed the wine called out the names of three or four different 
sorts, and each person had his choice. The dinner finished 
(I mean the eating part), the Baroness rose, and all followed 
her into the drawing-room, which is the library of the Baron ; 
and I liked it much, for I cannot bear the drinking-matches of 
wine at the English tables. We had coffee, and the company 


increased rapidly ; and among the new comers were my 
acquaintances Captain Parry, Monsieur Condillot, and Mr. 
Lesson, just returned from a yoyage round the world. Cuvier 
stuck to Mr. Swainson and myself, and we talked ornithology : 
he asked the price of my work, and I gave him a prospectus. 
The company now filled the room, and as it grew late, and we 
had nearly five miles to ride, we left a la Franpaise, very well 
satisfied with this introductory step among the savans Frangais. 

" September 8. Went to pay my respects to Baron Cuvier and 
Geoffiroy St. Hilaire ; found only the former at home ; he 
invited me to the Eoyal Institute, and I had just time to return 
home and reach it before the sitting of the Eoyal Academie des 
Sciences- I took my portfolio, and, on entering, inquired for 
Cuvier, who very politely came to me, made the porter put my 
book on the table, and assigned me a seat of honour. The seance 
opened, and a tedious lecture was delivered on the vision of the 
mole. Mr. Swainson accompanied me. Baron Cuvier then 
arose, and announced us and spoke of my work. It was 
shown and admired as usual, and Cuvier was requested to review 
it for the memoirs of the Academy. Cuvier asked me to leave 
my book. I did, and he commended it to the particular care of 
the librarians, who are to show it to any who desire to see it ; 
he also said he would propose to the Academy to subscribe to it, 
and if so, it will be a good day's work. 

"September 9. Went to the Jardin du Eoi, where I met 
young Geoffroy, who took me to a man who stuffs birds for the 
Prince d'Essling. He told me the Prince had a copy of my 
work (probably Wilson's or Selby's ?), and said he would sub- 
scribe if I would call on him to-morrow with him. After 
this I walked around the boulevards, looking at the strange 
things I saw there, thinking of my own strange life, and how 
wonderful my present situation in the land of my father and 
ancestors. From here I went to the Louvre, and as I was about 
to pass the gates of the Tuileries, a sentinel stopped me, saying 
no one could enter there with a fur eap. I went to another 
gate, and passed without challenge, and went to the Grand 
Gallery. There, among the Eaphaels, and Correggios, Titians, 
Davids, and thousands of others, I feasted my eyes and enlarged 
my knowledge. From there I made my way to the Institut de 


France, and by appointment presented my prospectus to the 
secretary of the library. There I met young Geoffroy, an 
amiable and learned young man, who examined my work, paid 
me every attention, and gave me a room to myself for the 
inspection of specimens and to write in. How very different 
from the public institutions in England, where, instead of being 
bowed to, you have to bow to every one. The porters, clerks, 
and secretaries had all received orders to do everything I 
required, and I was looked upon with the greatest respect. I 
have now run the gauntlet of Europe, Lucy, and may be proud 
of two things — that I am considered the first ornithological 
painter and the first practical naturalist of America ! 

" September 10. Called on the bird-stuffer of the Prince 
d'Essling, who proposed to take me to the Prince's town residence. 
We were conducted into his museum, which surpasses in mag- 
nificence, and in the number of rare specimens of birds, shells, 
and books, all I have yet seen. We strolled about for a 
while, when word was sent us, that the Prince being indisposed, 
we must go to him. I took my pamphlet in my hand, and 
entered a fine room, where he lay reclining on a ,sofa ; but on 
seeing me, he rose up, bowed, and presented me to his beautiful 
young wife. While untying my book, both of them asked me 
some questions, and looked at me with seeming curiosity ; but 
as soon as a print was seen, they both exclaimed, ' Ah, c'est 
bien beau !' and then asked me if I did not know Charles Bona- 
parte ? And when I answered ' Yes,' they both again said, ' Ah, 
it is the same gentleman of whom we have heard so much, the 
Man of the Woods ; the drawings are all made by him,' etc. 
The Prince said that he regretted very much that so few 
persons in France were able to subscribe to such a work, and 
that I must not expect more than six or eight names in Paris. 
He named all those whom he or his lady knew, and told me it 
would give him pleasure to add his name to my list. I drew it 
out, opened it, and asked him to write it himself: this he did 
with a good grace, next under the Duke of Eutland. This 
Prince, son of the famous Marshal Massena, is thirty years 
of age, apparently delicate, pale, slender, and yet good-looking, 
entirely devoted to Natural History. His wife is a beautiful 
young woman of about twenty, extremely graceful and polite. 


They both complimented me on the purity of my French, and 
wished me all the success I deserved. I went back to my 
friend in the cabinet, well contented, and we returned to our 
lodgings. Not liking our rooms at our hotel, to-day I shall 
remove to the Hotel de France, where I have a large, clean, 
and comfortable room, and pay twenty-five sous per day. But 
I must tell thee that in France, although a man may be a 
prince or duke, he is called simply monsieur, and his lady, 
madam, and all are as easy of access as men without a great 
name : this made me quite at my ease with Prince d'Essling. 

"September 11. I have been travelling all over Paris to- 
day, and have accomplished nothing. Called on M. Geoffroy 
St. Hilaire, and he gave me some good advice and directions 
respecting obtaining the king's subscription, and others. 

" Septemler 12. Visited, at his library, the librarian of the 
king, M. Van Praet, a small and white-haired gentleman, 
who assured me in the politest manner imaginable that it was 
out of the question to subscribe for so heavy a work. He how- 
ever gave me a card to introduce me to M. Barbier, a librarian 
belonging to the king's private library at the Louvre. Here I 
learned that the inland postage of a single letter from Paris to 
London is twenty-four sous ; there is a mail to London four 
times a week. After some trouble I found the library of the 
king, because I followed the direction ' toujours tout droit,' until 
quite out of latitude and longitude by tacking and retacking ; 
but at last I reached the place, and entered a gate fronting the 
river, and found M. Barbier absent. But later in the day I found 
him ; and he, not being able to say anything definite himself, 
referred me to the Baron de Boullere, intendant of the king's 
household. I wrote to him in French, the first letter I have 
written in this language in twenty-five years, and I dare say a 
very curious one to such a personage as he is. 

" Sepiember 13. Took my portfolio to Geof6?oy de St. Hilaire, 
and then to Baron Cuvier; the former, after examining it, 
retracted his opinion respecting its size, and expressed himself 
pleased with it. A Mons. Dumesnil, a French engraver, was 
sent to me by Prince d'Essling, and I learned from him that my 
work could be done better and at less expense in England than 
in France. Copper is dearer here than in England, and good 


colourers much more scarce. I have just returned with friend 
Swainson from Baron Cuvier's, who gives receptions to scientific 
men every Saturday. My book was on the table, and Cuvier 
received me with especial kindness, and put me at ease. Mons. 
CondHlot I found remarkably amiable, and the company was 
much the same as on last Saturday. I found much pleasure 
in conversation with Cuvier and M. de Condillot. The former 
willingly assented to sit to Mr. Parker for his portrait, and the 
other told me if I visited Italy I must make his house my home. 
My work was examined, and Cuvier pronounced it the finest in 
existence of the kind. As we attempted to make our escape 
Cuvier noticed us, and ran after us and took us by the hand, 
and wished us to return ; but we had a long and dark walk 
before us, and on that ground excused ourselves. 

" Septmiber 15. France is poor indeed! This day I have 
attended the Eoyal Academy of Sciences, and had my plates 
examined by about one hundred persons. 'Fine, very fine!' 
issued from many mouths ; but they said also, ' What a work ! 
what a price ! who can pay it ?' I recollected that I had thirty 
subscribers at Manchester, and mentioned it. They stared, and 
seemed surprised ; but acknowledged that England, the little 
island of England, alone was able to support poor Audubon. 
Some went so far as to say that, had I been here four months 
ago, I should not have had even the Prince d'Essling for a 
subscriber. Poor France, thy fine climate, rich vineyards, and 
the wishes of the learned avail nothing ; thou art a destitute 
beggar, and not the powerful friend thou wert represented to me. 
Now it is that I plainly see how happy, or lucky, it was in me 
not to have conie to France first ; for if I had, my work now 
would not have had even a beginning. It would have perished 
like a flower in October ; and I should have returned to my 
woods, without the hope of leaving behind that eternal fame 
which my ambition, industry, and perseverance, long to enjoy. 
Not a subscriber, Lucy ; no, not one ! 

" I have also been again to Cuvier's to-day, to introduce Mr. 
Parker, to begin his portrait. You would like to hear more of 
Cuvier and his house. Well, we rang the bell, and a waiter 
came, and desired that we would wipe our feet : we needed it, 
for we were very muddy. This over, we followed the man up- 


stairs, and in the first room we entered I saw a slight figure in 
black gliding out at an opposite door like a sylph. It was 
Miss Cuvier, not quite ready to receive company. Off she flew, 
like a dove before falcons. However, we followed our man, 
who every moment turned to us and repeated, ' This way, gentle- 
men.' Then we passed through eight rooms filled with beds or 
books, and at last reached a sort of laboratory, the sanctum 
sanctorum of Cuvier ; nothing there but books, the skeletons of 
animals, and reptiles. Our conductor bid us sit, and left us to 
seek for the Baron. My eyes were occupied in the interval in 
examining the study of this great man, and my mind in reflect- 
ing on the wonders of his knowledge. All but order was about 
his books, and I concluded that he read and studied, and was not 
fond of books because he was the owner of them, as some great 
men seem to be whom I have known. Our conductor returned 
directly, and led us to another laboratory, where we found the 
Baron. Great men show politeness in a particular way ; they 
receive you without much demonstration ; a smile suffices to 
assure you that you are welcome, and keep about their avoca- 
tions as if you were a member of the family. " 



Paris — Cuvieb — Eedonte, the Flowbe-Paintbe — CtrviEE's Eepoet on 


QUOTED — The Duke op Oeleans — Geeaed — Bieds in Paris and 
Whispers from the Woods — Farewell to France. 

" Parker was introduced while Cuvier was looking at a small 
lizard, through a vial of spirits that contained it. I see now 
his speaking eye, half closed, as if quizzing its qualities, and 
as he wrote its name with a pencil on a label, he bowed his 
body in acquiescence. ' Come and breakfast with me, Mr. Parker, 
on Thursday next, at ten o'clock, and I will be your man ;' and 
on he went quizzing more lizards. 

" September 18. Went with Parker to Baron Cuvier's. We 
met Miss Cuvier, who had made all preparations to receive us. 
The Baron came in and seated himself in a comfortable arm- 
chair. Great men, as well as great women, have their share of 
vanity, and I soon discovered that the Baron thinks himself a 
fine-looking man. His daughter seemed to understand this, 
and remarked, more than once, that her father had his under 
lip much more swelled than usual ; and she added that the 
line of his nose was extremely fine. I passed my fingers over 
mine, and, lo ! I thought just the same. I see the Baron now 
quite as plainly as I did this morning, an old green surtout 
about him, a neckcloth, that would have wrapped his whole 
body if unfolded, loosely tied about his chin, and his silver locks 
looking like those of a man who loves to study books better 
than to visit barbers. His fine eye glistened from under his thick 


oyebrows, and he smiled as be spoke to me. Miss Cuvier is a 
most agreeable lady, and opening a book, she asked to read 
aloud to us all ; and on she went in a clear, well-accented tone, 
from a comic play, well calculated to amuse us for the time, 
and during the monotony of sitting for a portrait, which is 
always a great bore. Mrs. Cuvier joined us, and I noticed her 
expression was one of general sadness, and she listened with a 
melancholy air that depressed my own spirits. The Baron soon 
expressed himself fatigued, and went out, and I advised Parker 
to keep him as short a time as possible. We were in one of 
his libraries, and he asked his daughter to show us two poi-traits 
of himself, painted some ten years ago. They were only so 
so. Meanwhile the Baron named next Thursday for another 

" September 20. This morning I had the pleasure of seeing 
the venerable Eedonte, the flower-painter par excellence. After 
reading Lesueur's note to him, dated five years ago, he looked 
at me fixedly, and said, ' Well, sir, I am truly glad to become 
acquainted with you ;' and without further ceremony he showed 
me his best works. His flowers are grouped with peculiar 
taste, well drawn and precise in the outlines, and coloured with 
a pure brilliancy, which resembles Nature immeasurably better 
than I ever saw it before. Eedont4 dislikes all that is not pure 
Nature ; he cannot bear drawings of stuffed birds or quadrupeds, 
and expressed a desire to see a work wherein Nature is deline- 
ated in an animated way. He said he dined every Friday at 
the Duke of Orleans' ; he would take my work there next week, 
and obtain his subscription, if not the Duchess's also. He 
asked for a prospectus, and invited me to return next Wednes-. 
day. I looked over hundreds of his dravrings, and learned 
that he sold them at high prices, some as high as two hundred 
and fifty guineas. On my way home I met the secretary of 
the king's library, who told me that the Baron de la BouUerie 
had given orders to have my work inspected, and if approved, 
to subscribe for it. I have found that letters of introduction 
are not as useful here as in England. Cuvier, to whom I had 
no letter, and to whom my name was unknown before my 
arrival, is the only man who has yet invited me to his house. 
I wished to go this evening to his scientific soiree, to which he 

L 2 


invited me, but I did not, because I have been two successive 
Saturdays, and I am afraid of intruding, although the rude 
awkwardness I formerly felt has worn nearly smooth. 

" Septemher 22. This was the grand day appointed by Baron 
Cuvier for reading his report on my work at the French 
Institute. The French Institute ! Shall I call it superior to 
the Royal Academy of London ? I cannot better answer the 
interrogation, than by the reports of the presidents of these 
institutions on my work. By particular invitation of the Baron, 
I was at the Institute at half-past one, and no Baron there. 
I sat opposite the clock, and counted the minutes one after 
another ; but the clock, insensible to my impatience, moved 
regularly, and ticked its time just as if Audubon had never 
existed. I undertook to count the numerous volumes which 
filled the compartnlents of the library, but my eye became 
bewildered, and as it reached the distant centre of the hall, 
rested on the figure of Voltaire ! Poor Voltaire ! had he not 
his own share of troubles ? how was he treated ? Savants 
like shadows passed before me, nodded, and proceeded to their 
seats, and resting their heads on their hands, looked for more 
knowledge in different memoirs. I, Lucy, began journeying to 
America, sailed up its rivers, across its lakes, along its coasts, 
and up the Mississippi, until I reached Bayou Sara, and leap- 
ing on shore, and traversing the magnolia forests, bounded 
towards thee, my dearest friend, — when the clock struck, and 
suddenly called me to myself in the Eoyal Institute, patiently 
waiting for the Baron. 

"The number of savants increased, and my watch and the 
clock told that the day was waning. I took a book and read, 
but it went into my mind and left no impression. The savants 
increased more and more, and by-and-by among them my quick 
eye discerns the Baron. I had been asked fifty times if I were 
waiting for him, and had been advised to go to his house ; but 
I sat and watched like a sentinel at his post. I heard his 
voice and his footstep, and at last saw him, warm, apparently 
fatigued, and yet extremely kindly, coming towards me, with 
a ' My dear sir, I am sorry to know that you have waited so 
long here ; I was in my cabinet ; come with me.' During all 
this talk, to which I bowed, and followed him, his hand was 


driving a pencil with great rapidity, and I discovered that he 
was actually engaged in making his report. I thought of La 
Fontaine's ' Table of the Turtle and the Hare,' and of many 
other things ; and I was surprised that so great a man, who, 
of course, being great, must take care of each of his actions 
with a thousand times more care than a common individual, 
to prevent falls, when surrounded, as all great men are, by 
envy, cowardice, malice, and all other evil spirits, should leave 
to the last moment the writing of a report, to every word of 
which the ' Forty of France ' would lend a critical ear. We 
were now in his cabinet ; my enormous book lay before him, 
and I shifted swiftly the different plates that he had marked 
for examination. His pencil kept constantly moving ; he turned 
and returned the sheets of his pamphlet with amazing accuracy, 
and noted as quickly as he saw all that he saw. We were both 
wet with perspiration. When this was done, he invited me to 
call on him to-morrow at half-past ten, and went off towards 
the council-room. 

" September 23. I waited in Cuvier's departmental section 
until past eleven, when he came in, as much in a hurry as ever, 
and yet as kind as ever — always the perfect gentleman. The 
report had been read, and the Institute, he said, had subscribed 
for one copy ; and he told me the report would appear in next 
Saturday's ' Globe.' I called on M. Feuillet, principal librarian 
of the Institute, to inquire how I was to receive the subscription. 
He is a large, stout man, had on a hunting-cap, and began by 
assuring me that the Institute was in the habit of receiving a 
discount on all the works it takes. My upper lip curled, not 
with pleasure, but a sneer at such a request ; and I told the 
gentleman I never made discounts on a work which cost me a 
life of trouble and too much expense ever to be remunerated ; 
so the matter dropped. 

" September 24. To-day I was told that Gerard, the great 
Gerard, the pupil of my old master David, wished to see me 
and my works. I propose to visit him to-morrow. 

"September 25. I have trotted from pillar to post through 
this big town, from the Palais Royal to the Jardin du Luxem- 
bourg, in search of Mons. Le Medecin Bertrand, after a copy 
of Cuvier's Report ; such is man, all avaricious of praise by 


nature. Three times did I go to the ' Globe ' oflBce, from places 
three miles apart, untU at last, wearied and brought to bay, I 
gave up the chase. At last I went to the king's library, and 
learned from the librarian — a perfect gentleman — ^that the court 
had inspected my work, and were delighted with it ; and he 
told me that kings were not generally expected to pay for 
works'; and I gave him to understand that I was able to keep 
the work if the king did not purchase. 

" To-day I saw the original copy of Cuvier's report on my work. 
It is quite an eulogium, but not as feelingly written as 
Mr. Swainson's ; nevertheless, it will give the French an idea 
of my work, and may do good. 

" The following is an extract translated from the report : — 

" ' The Academy of Sciences have requested me to make averbal 
report on the work of Mr. Audubon, laid before it at a former 
session, on the " Birds of North America." It may be described 
in a few words as the most magnificent monument which has 
yet been erected to ornithology. The author, bom in Louisiana, 
and devoted from his youth to painting, was twenty-five years 
ago a pupil in the school of David. Having returned to his 
own country, he thought he could not make a better use of his 
talents than by representing the most brilliant productions of 
that hemisphere. The accurate observation necessary for such 
representations as he wished to make soon rendered him a 

" ' It is in this double capacity of artist and savant that he 
produced the work, which has been offered to the inspection of 
the Academy. You have been struck by the size of the book, 
which is equal or superior to the largest of that kind that has 
ever been published, and is nearly as large as the double plates 
of the description of Egypt. This extraordinary dimension has 
enabled him to give specimens of the eagle and vulture of their 
natural size, and to multiply those which are smaller in such a 
manner as to represent them in eveiy attitude. 

" ' He was thus able to represent on the same plates, and of 
the natural size, the plants which these birds most commonly 
frequent, and to give the fullest detail of their nests and 

" ' The execution of these plates, so remarkable for their size. 


appears to have succeeded equally well with regard to the 
drawing, the engraving, and the colouring. And although 
it is difficult in colouring to give perspectives with as much 
effect as in painting, properly so called, that is no defect in a 
work on natural history. Naturalists prefer the real colour of 
objects to those accidental tints which are the result of the 
varied reflections of light necessary to complete picturesque re- 
presentations, but foreign and even injurious to scientific truth. 

" ' Mr. Audubon has already prepared four hundred drawings, 
which, contain nearly two thousand figures, and he proposes to 
publish them successively if he receives sufficient encouragement 
from lovers of science. A work conceived and executed on so 
vast a plan has but one fault, and doubtless in that respect my 
auditors have already anticipated me ; it is that its expense 
renders it almost inaccessible to the greater part of those to 
whom it would be most necessary. It certainly cannot be said 
that the price is exorbitant. One number of five plates costs 
two guineas ; each plate comes to only ten or twelve francs. 
As there will be published but five numbers a year, the annual 
expense would not be enormous. It is desirable, at least for 
art as well as sciencCj that the great public libraries — and the 
wealthy, who love to enrich their collections with works of 
luxury — should be willing to secure it. 

'"Formerly the European naturalists were obliged to make 
known to America the riches she possessed ; but now Mitchell, 
Harler, and Bonaparte give back with interest to Europe what 
America had received. Wilson's history of the " Birds of the 
United States " equals in elegance our most beautiful works on 
ornithology. If that of Mr. Audubon should be completed, 
we shall be obliged to acknowledge that America, in magnifi- 
cence of execution, has surpassed the old world.' 

''September 30. Mr. Coutant, the great engraver of Paris, 
came to see my work to-day. When I opened the book he 
stared ; and as I turned over the engravings, he exclaimed often, 
' Oh, mon Dieu ! quel ouvrage !' Old Redonte also visited me, 
and brought an answer to my letter from the Due d'Orleans. 
At one o'clock I went with my portfolio to the Palais Eoyal ; 
and as I do not see dukes every day, dearest, I will give you 
an account of my visit. 


" The Palais Koyal of the Duke of Orleans is actually the 
entrance of the Palais Eoyal, the public walk to which we go 
almost every evening, and which is guarded by many sentinels. 
On the right I saw a large, fat, red-coated man, through the 
ground window, whom I supposed to be the porter of his' Eoyal 
Highness : he opened the door, and I took off my fur cap, and 
walked in without ceremony. I gave him my card, and re- 
quested him to send it up-stairs. He said Monsiegneur was 
not in, but I might go into the antechamber, and I ascended 
one of the finest staircases my feet had ever trod. They parted 
at the bottom, in a rounding form of about twenty-four feet in 
breadth, to meet on the second-floor, on a platform, lighted by 
a skylight, showing the beauties of the surrounding walks, and 
in front of which were three doors, two of which I tried in vain 
to open. The third, however, gave way, and I found myself in 
the outer antechamber, with about twelve servants, who all rose 
up and stood until I seated myself on a soft, red, velvet-covered 
bench. Not a word was said to me, and I gazed on the men 
and place with a strange sensation of awkwardness. The walls 
were bare, the floor black and white squares of marble, over 
which a sergeant paced, wearing a broad belt. I waited some 
minutes, looking on this dumb show, and wondering how long 
it would last, when I accosted the sergeant, and told him I 
wished to see the duke, and that I had come here by his order. 
He made a profound bow, and conducted me to another room, 
where several gentlemen were seated writing. I told one of 
them my errand, and he immediately showed me into an im- 
mense and elegantly-furnished apartment, and ordered my book 
to be brought up. In this room I bowed to two gentlemen 
whom I knew belonged to the Legion of Honour, and walked 
about, examining the fine marble statues and pictures. A 
gentleman soon entered the room, and coming towards me with 
an agreeable smile, asked if perchance my name was Audubon. 
I bowed, and he replied, ' Bless me, we thought you had gone, 
and left your portfolio. My uncle has been waiting for you 
twenty minutes ; pray, sir, follow me.' We entered another 
room, and I saw the duke approaching me, and was introduced 
to him by his nephew. I do not recollect ever having seen a 
finer man, in form, deportment, and elegant manners, than 


this Duke of. Orleans. He had my book brought in, and helped 
me to untie the strings and arrange the table, and began 
by saying that he felt a great pleasure in subscribing to the work 
of an American ; that he had been kindly treated in the United 
States, and would never forget it. When the portfolio was 
opened, and I held up the plate of the Baltimore oriole, with a 
nest swinging amongst the tender twigs of the yellow poplar, 
he said, ' This surpasses all I have seen, and I am not astonished 
now at the eulogium of M. Eedonte.' He spoke partly in 
English and partly in French, and said much of America, of 
Pittsburg, the Ohio, New Orleans, the Mississippi and its steam- 
boats ; and then added, ' You are a great and noble nation, a 
wonderful nation !' The duke promised to write to the Emperor 
of Austria for me, and to the King of Sweden, and other 
crowned heads, and to invite them to subscribe, and requested 
me to send a note to-day to the Minister of the Interior. I re- 
mained talking with him and his nephew more than an hour. 
I asked him to give me his own signature on my list of sub- 
scribers. He smiled, took it, and wrote, in very legible letters, 
' Le Due d'Orleans.' I now thought that to remain any longer 
would be an intrusion, and thanking him respectfully, I bowed, 
shook hands, and retired. As I passed down the servants stared 
at me with astonishment, wondering, doubtless, what could 
have obtained me so long and intimate an interview with their 

" October 1 . Called to-day on M. Gerard, of whom France 
may boast without a blush. It was ten o'clock when I reached 
his hotel j but as he is an Italian, born at Eome, and retains 
the habits of his countrymen, keeps late hours, and seldom 
takes his tea before one o' clock in the morning, I found him 
just up, and beginning his day's work. When I entered his 
rooms they were filled with persons of both sexes, and as soon 
as my name was announced, Gerard, a small, well-formed man, 
came towards me, took my hand, and said, ' Welcome, brother 
in arts !' I liked this much, and felt gratified to have, broken 
the ice so easily, and my perspiration subsided. 

" Gerard was all curiosity to see my drawings, and old Eedonte, 
who was also present, came to me and spoke so highly. of them 
before they were opened, that I feared Gerard would be dis- 


appointed. However, the book was opened accidentally at the 
plate of the parrots, and Gerard, taking it up without speaking, 
looked at it with an eye as critical as my own for several 
minutes, put it down, and took up the mocking-bixds, and then 
offering me his hand, said, ' Mr. Audubon, you are the king of 
ornithological painters. We are all children in France or 
Europe. Who would have expected such things from the woods 
of America 7 I received compliments on all sides, and Gerard 
talked of nothing but my work, and asked me to give him some 
prospectuses to send to Italy. He also repeated what Baron 
Cuvier had said in the morning, and hoped that the Minister 
would order a number of copies for the government. I closed 
the book, and sauntered around the room, admiring the superb 
prints, mostly taken from his own paintings. The ladies were all 
engaged at cards, and money did not appear to be scarce in this 
pa,rt of Paris. Mrs. Gerard is a small, fattish woman, to whom 
I made a bow, and saw but for a moment. The ladies were 
dressed very finely, quite in a new fashion to me, pointed 
corsets before, with some hanging trimmings, and very full 
robes of rich and differently-coloured satins and other materials. 

" October 20. Nothing to do, and fatigued with looking at 
Paris. Four subscriptions in seven weeks is very slow work. . . 
. . The stock-pigeon, or cushat, roosts in the trees of the garden 
of the Tuileries in considerable numbers. They arrive about 
sunset, settle at first on the highest trees and driest naked 
branches, then gradually lower themselves to the trunks of the 
trees and the thickest parts of the foliage, and remain there all 
night. They leave at the break of day, and fly off in a 
northerly direction. Blackbirds also do the same, and are ex- 
tremely noisy before dark ; some few rooks and magpies are 
seen there also. In the Jardin or walks of the Palais Eoyal the 
common sparrows are prodigiously plentiful ; very tame, fed by 
ladies and children, and often killed with blowguns by mis- 
chievous boys. The mountain finch passes in scattered numbers 
over Paris at this season, going northerly. And now, my love, 
wouldst thou not believe me once more in the woods, and hard 
at it ? Alas ! I wish I were. What precious time I am losing 
in this Europe ! When shall I go home ? 

" October 26. I have not written for several days, because 


I have been waiting, and had no inclination. Meanwhile a 
note came from Baron de la Bouillerie, announcing the king's 
subscription for six copies ; and I have appointed an agent in 
Paris, and am now ready to leave. I have bid adieu to Baron 
Cuvier and G-eoffrey St. HUaire, and have taken a seat in the 
rotunda for Calais and London direct. I have paid twenty francs 
in advance, and long for to-morrow, to be on my way to England. 
I shall have been absent two months, have expended forty 
pounds, and obtained thirteen subscribers." 



Eetuen to London — Haud at Wokk — Sets Sail foe Ambeica. 

" London, Nov. 9. This is an eventful day in the history of my 
great work on the Birds of America. Mr. Havell has taken the 
drawings which are to form the eleventh number, and it will 
be the first number for the year 1829. I wished several 
numbers to be engraved as soon as possible, for reasons which, 
if known to thee, Lucy, would fill thy heart with joy. 

" November 10. I am painting as much as the short days wiU 
allow ; but it is so very cold to my southern constitution, that 
I am freezing on the side farthest from the fire. I have finished 
two pictures for the Duke of Orleans — one of the grouse, which 
I regret to part with without a copy, though I have taken the 

" December 23. After so long an absence from thee, my dear 
Book, it will be difficult to write up a connected record of 
intervening events, but I will try and recall what is worth 
recording. My main occupation has been painting every 
day. I have finished my two large pictures of the Eagle 
and the Lamb, and the Dog and the Pheasants, and now, 
as usual, can scarce bear to look at them. My amiable pupil. 
Miss Hudson, has kept me company, and her pencil has turned 
some of my drawings into pictures. I have dined out but once, 
with my friend J. Gr. Children, of the British Museum, on the 
Coronation Day ; and there I met several friends and scientific 
acquaintance. The want of exercise, and close application. 


have reduced my flesh very much, and I would have been off 
for Manchester, Liverpool, &c., bnt have had no complete copy 
of my work to take with me. 

" December 25. Another Christmas in England ! I dined at 
Mr. Goddard's, in the furthest opposite end of London, with a 
company mostly American. Sir Thomas Lawrence called to 
see my paintings while I was absent. Mr. Havell showed them 
to him, and made the following report to me : — ' Looking at the 
picture of the Eagle and the Lamb, he said, " That is a fine 
picture." He examined it closely, and then turned to the 
Pheasants, which I call " Sauve qui peut ;" this he looked at 
from different points, and with his face close to the canvas, and 
had it rolled to different points, for more light and new views, 
but expressed no opinion about it. The Otter came next. He 
said, " The animal is very fine." He left, and promised to return 
in a few days.' I met him soon after, and he told me he ^^•ould 
call and make selection of a picture to be exhibited at Somerset 
House, and would speak to the council about it." 

By this time, as the journal shows, Audubon had resolved 
to visit America, and had begun to make active preparations 
for leaving. 

" March 31. It is so long since I have written in my life book, 
that I felt quite ashamed on opening it to see that the last date 
was Christmas of last year. Fie, Audubon ! Well, I have 
made up my mind to go to America, and with some labour and 
some trouble perfected all arrangements. I have given the 
agency of my work to my excellent friend Children, of the 
British Museum, who kindly offered to see to it during my 
absence. I have settled all my business as well as I could, 
taken my passage on board the packet-ship Columbia, Captain 
Joseph Delano, to sail from Portsmouth, and paid thirty pounds 
for my passage. 

'^ April 1. I went by mail to the smoky city of Portsmouth ; 
have hoisted the anchor, am at sea, and sea-sick." 



America — Friends in New York — Two Episodes: the Great Egg 
Harbour and the Great Pine Swamp. 

"^The cry of 'land, land, land!' thrice repeated, roused me 
from my torpor, and acted like champagne to refresh my 
spirits. I rushed on deck, and saw in the distance a deep gray 
line, like a wall along the horizon, and toward which the ship 
was rolling and cutting her way. My heart swelled with joy, 
and all seemed like a pleasant dream at first ; but as soon as the 
reality was fairly impressed on my mind, tears of joy rolled 
down my cheeks. I clasped my hands, and fell on my knees, 
and raising my eyes to heaven — that happy land above — I 
offered my thanks to our God, that He had preserved and 
prospered me in my long absence, and once more permitted me 
to approach these shores so dear to me, and which holds my 
heart's best earthly treasures. 

" May 5. New York. I have brought thee, my English book, 
all the way across the Atlantic, too sea-sick to hold any con- 
verse with thee — sea-sick all the way, until the morning when 
I saw my dear native land. But no matter, I have safely 
landed. We left England with one hundred and fifty souls, 
and put them all ashore at New York, except one poor black 
feUow, who thought proper to put an end to his existence by 
jumping overboard one dark night. A Mr. Benjamin Smith 
subscribed to my work on the passage. He had his family, 
eight servants, five dogs, and cloth and twine enough to fly 
kites the world over — an excellent and benevolent man. 


" My state-room companion was a eolonel from Eussia, named 
Sir Isaac Coffin, and he did all he could to make the voyage as 
pleasant as possible under the circumstances. I was well 
received in New York by all my acquaintances, and Dr. Pax- 
allis took me to the Collector of the Customs, who, on reading 
President Jackson's letters to me, gave free admission to my 
books and luggage. My work was exhibited here, and a report 
made on it to the New York Lyceum; and I made the 
acquaintance of Mr. William Cooper, the friend of Charles 
Bonaparte, a fine kind person. 

" May 14. I left New York for Philadelphia, in company 
with Mr. Thomas Wharton, an excellent, but not remarkably 
intellectual man, and took board with Mrs. Bradley, in Arch 
.Street. There I spent three days, and then removed to 
Camden, New Jersey, where I spent three weeks in observing 
the habits of the migratory warblers and other birds which 
arrive in vast numbers in the spring. From there I returned 
to Philadelphia to visit the sea-shores of New Jersey.'' 

Here follows his elaborate account of that visit. 

"Gkeat Egg Hakbouk. 

" Having made all the necessary preparations to visit the sea- 
shores of New Jersey, for the purpose of making myself 
acquainted with their feathered inhabitants, I left early in 
June. The weather was pleasant, and the country seemed to 
smile in the prospect of bright days and gentle gales. Fisher- 
men-gunners passed daily between Philadelphia and the 
various small seaports, with Jersey waggons laden with fish, 
fowls, and other provision, or with such articles as were required 
by the families of those hardy boatmen ; and I bargained with 
one of them to take myself and my baggage to Great Egg 
Harbour. One afternoon, about sunset, the vehicle halted at 
my lodgings, and the conductor intimated that he was anxious 
to proceed as quickly as possible. A trunk, a couple of guns, 
and such other articles as are found necessary by persons whose 
pursuits are similar to mine, were immediately thrust into the 
waggon, and were followed by their owner. The conductor 
whistled to his steeds, and off we went at a round pace over the 
loose and deep sand that in almost every part of this state forms 


the basis of the roads. After a whOe we overtook a whole 
caravan of similar vehicles moving in the same direction ; and 
when we got near them our horses slackened their pace to a 
regular walk, the driver leaped from his seat, I followed his 
example, and we presently found ourselves in the midst of a 
group of merry waggoners, relating their adventures of the 
week, it being now Saturday night. One gave intimation of 
the number of ' sheep's-heads ' he had taken to town ; another 
spoke of the curlews which yet remained on the sands ; and a 
third boasted of having gathered so many dozens of marsh hens' 
eggs. I inquired if the fish-hawks were plentiful near Great 
Egg Harbour, and was answered by an elderly man, who, with 
a laugh, asked if I had "ever seen the ' weak fish ' along the 
coast without the bird in question. Not knowing the animal he. 
had named, I confessed my ignorance, when the whole party 
burst into a loud laugh, in which, there being nothing better for 
it, I joined. 

"About midnight the caravan reached a half-way house, 
where we rested a while. Several roads diverged from this spot, 
and_ the waggons separated, one only keeping us company. 
The night was dark and gloomy, but the sand of the road 
indicated our course very distinctly. Suddenly the galloping 
of horses struck my ear, and on looking back, we perceived that 
our waggon must in an instant be in imminent danger. The 
driver leaped off, and drew his steeds aside, barely in time to 
allow the runaways to pass without injuring us. Off they went 
at full speed, and not long after their owner came up panting, 
and informed us that they had suddenly taken fright at some 
noise proceeding from the woods, but hoped they would soon 
stop. Immediately after we heard a crash; then for a few 
moments all was silent; but the neighing of the horses pre- 
sently assured us that they had broken loose. On reaching the 
spot we found the waggon upset, and a few yards further on 
were the horses quietly browsing by the road-side. 

" The first dawn of morn in the Jerseys, in the month of 
June, is worthy of a better description than I can furnish ; and 
therefore I shall only say that the moment the sunbeams 
blazed over the horizon, the loud and mellow notes of the 
meadow lark saluted our ears. On each side of the road were 


open woods, on the tallest trees of which I observed at intervals 
the nest of a fish-hawk, far above which the white-breasted 
bird slowty winged its way as it commenced its early journey to 
the sea, the odour of which filled me with delight. In half an 
hour more we were in the centre of Great Egg Harbour. 

" There I had the good fortune to be received into the house 
of a thoroughbred fisherman-gunner, who, besides owning a com- 
fortable cot, only a few hundred yards from the shore, had an 
excellent -(TOman for a wife, and a little daughter as playful as a 
kitten, though as wild as a seagiill. In less than half an hour I 
was qtute at home, and the rest of the day was spent in 
devotion. Oysters, though reckoned out of season at this 
period, are as good as ever when fresh from their beds, and my 
first meal was of some as large and white as any I have eaten. 
The sight of them, placed before me on a clean table, with an 
honest industrious family in my company, never failed to afford 
more pleasure than the most sumptuous fare under different 
circumstances, and our conversation being simple and harmless, 
gaiety shone ia every face. As we became better acquainted, 
I had to answer several questions relative to the object of my 
visit. The good man rubbed his hands with joy as I spoke of 
shooting and fishing, and of long excursions through the swamps 
and marshes around. My host was then, and*I hope still is, 
a taU, strong-boned, muscidar man, of dark complexion, witli 
eyes as keen as those of the sea eagle. He was a tough walker, 
laughed at difficulties, and could pull an oar with any man. As 
to shooting, I have often doubted whether he or Mr. Egan, the 
worthy pilot of Indian Isle, was best ; and rarely indeed have I 
seen either of them miss a shot. 

"At daybreak on Monday I shoiddered my double-barrelled gun, 
and my host carried with him a long fowling-piece, a pair of oars, 
and a pair of oyster-tongs, while the wife and daughter brought 
along a seiue. The boat was good, the breeze gentle, and along 
the inlets we sailed for parts well known to my companions. To 
such naturalists as are qualified to observe many different objects 
at the same time. Great Egg Harbour would probably afford as 
ample a field as any part of our coast, excepting the Florida Keys. 
Birds of many kinds are abundant, as are fishes and testaceous ani- 
mala The forests shelter many beautiful plants, and even on the 



dryest sand-bar you may see insects of the most brilliant tints. 
Our principal object, however, was to procure certain birds 
known there by the name of lawyers ; and to accomplish this we 
entered and followed for several miles a winding inlet or bayou, 
which led us to the interior of a vast marsh, where, after some 
search, we found the birds and their nests. Our seine had been 
placed across the channel, and when we returned to it the tide 
had run out and left in it a number of fine fishes, some of 
which we cooked and ate on the spot. One, which I con- 
sidered as a curiosity, was saved and transmitted to Baron 
Cuvier. Our repast ended, the seine was spread out to dry, 
and we again betook ourselves to the marshes, to pursue our 
researches until the return of the tide. Having collected 
enough to satisfy us, we took up our oars and returned to the 
shore in front of the fisherman's house, where we dragged the 
seine several times with success. 

" In this manner I passed several weeks along those delight- 
ful and healthy shores — one day going to the woods to search the 
swamps in which the herons bred, passing another amid the joyous 
cries of the marsh hens, and on a third carrying slaughter among 
the white-breasted seagulls ; by way of amusement sometimes 
hauling the fish called the ' sheep's-head ' from an eddy along 
the shore ; watohing the gay terns as they danced in the air, or 
plunged into the water to seize the tiny fry. Many a drawing I 
made at Egg Harbour, and many a pleasant day I spent along 
its shores ; and much pleasure would it give me once more to 
visit the good and happy family (Captain Horam's) iu whose 
house I resided there. 

" September 1. Having accomplished my purpose in visiting 
the sea-shore of New Jersey, I returned to Philadelphia, and 
made preparations to go to the Great Pine Swamp, in North- 
umberland County, Pennsylvania. 

"The GrEEAT Pine Swamp. 

"I left Philadelphia at four of the morning by the coach, 
with no other accoutrements than I knew to be absolutely 
necessary for the jaunt which I intended to make. These 
consisted of a wooden box, containing a small stock of linen, 
drawing-paper, my journal, colours and pencils, together with 


twenty-five pounds of shot, some flints, a due quantum of cash, 
my gun, ' Tear Jacket,' and a heart as true to nature as ever. 

" Our coaches are none of the best, nor do they move with 
the velocity of those of some other countries. It was eight, and 
a dark night, when I reached Mauch Chunk, now so celebrated 
in the Union for its rich coal-mines, and eighty-eight miles 
distant from Philadelphia. I had passed through a diversified 
country, part of which was highly cultivated, while the rest was 
yet in a state of nature, and consequently much more agreeable 
to me. On alighting I was shown to the travellers' room, and on 
asking for the landlord, saw coming towards me a fine-looking 
young man, to whom I made known my wishes. He spoke 
kindly, and offered to lodge and board me at a much lower rate 
than travellers who go there for the very simple pleasure of 
being dragged on the railway. In a word, I was fixed in four 
minutes, and that most comfortably. No sooner had the 
approach of day been announced by the cocks of the little 
village, than I marched out with my gun and note-book, to 
judge for myself of the wealth of the country. After traversing 
much ground, and crossing many steep hUls, I returned, if not 
wearied, at least much disappointed at the extraordinary 
scarcity of birds. So I bargained to be carried in a cart to the 
central parts of the Great Pine Swamp ; and although a heavy 
storm was rising, ordered my conductor to proceed. The 
weather had become tremendous, and we were thoroughly 
drenched. We winded round many a mountain, and at last 
crossed the highest. But my resolution being fixed, the boy 
was obliged to continue his driving. Having already travelled 
fifteen miles or so, we left the turnpike and struck up a narrow 
and bad road, that seemed merely cut out to enable the people 
of the swamp to receive the necessary supplies from the village 
which I had left. Some mistakes were made, and it was almost 
dark when a post directed us to the habitation of a Mr. Jedediah 
Irish, to whom I had been recommended. We now rattled 
down a steep declivity, edged on one side by almost perpen- 
dicular rocks, and on the other by a noisy stream, which seemed 
gi-umbling at the approach of strangers. The ground was so 
overgrown by laurels and tall pines of different kinds, that 
the whole presented only a mass of darkness. 

M 2 


''At length we got to the house, the door of which was 
already opened, the sight of strangers being nothing uncommon 
in our woods, even in the most remote parts. On entering I 
was presented with a chair, while my conductor was shown the 
way to the stable ; and on expressing a wish that I should be 
permitted to remain in the house for some weeks, I was gratified 
by receiving the sanction of the good woman to my proposal, 
although her husband was then from home. As I immediately 
fell talking about the nature of the country, and if birds were 
numerous in the neighbourhood, Mrs. Irish, more au fait to 
household affairs than ornithology, sent for a nephew of her 
husband, who soon made his appearance, and in whose favour 
I became at once prepossessed. He conversed like an educated 
person, saw that I was comfortably disposed of, and finally bade 
me good-night, in such a tone as made me quite happy. 

" The storm had rolled away before the first beams of the 
morning sun shone brightly on the wet foliage, displaying all 
its richness and beauty. My ears were greeted by the notes, 
always sweet and mellow, of the wood-thrush, and other 
songsters. Before I had gone many steps the woods echoed to 
the report of my gun, and I picked from among the leaves a 
lovely bird long sought for, but till then sought for in vain. 
I needed no more, and standing still for a while, I was soon 
convinced that the Great Pine Swamp harboured many other 
objects interesting to me. The young man joined me, bearing 
his rifle, and offered to accompany me through the woods, all of 
which he well knew. But I was anxious to transfer to paper 
the form and beauty of the little bird I had in my hand ; and 
requesting him to break a twig of blooming laurel, we returned 
to the house, speaking of nothing else than the picturesque 
beauty of the country around. 

" A few days passed, during which I became acquainted with 
my hostess and her sweet children, and made occasional rambles, 
but spent the greater portion of my time in drawing. One 
morning, as I stood near the window of my room, I remarked a 
tall and powerful man alight from his horse, loose the girth of 
his saddle, raise the latter with one hand, pass the bridle over 
the head of the animal with the other, and move towards the 
house, wliile the hoi'se betook himself to the little brook to 


drink. I heard some movement in the room below, and again 
the same tall person walked towards the mills and stores, a few 
hundred yards from the house. In America, business is the 
first object in view at all times, and right it should bo so. 
Soon after, my hostess entered my room, accompanied by the 
fine-looking woodsman, to whom, as Mr. Jedediah Irish, I was 
introduced. Eeader, to describe to you the qualities of that 
excellent man, were vain ; you should know him as I do, to 
estimate the value of such men in our sequestered forests. 
He not only made me welcome, but promised all his assistance 
in forwarding my views. The long walks and long talks we 
have had together I never can forget, nor the many beautiful 
birds which we pursued, shot, and admired. The juicy venison, 
excellent bear's flesh, and delightful trout that daily formed my 
food, methinks I can still enjoy. And then what pleasure I 
had in listening to him, as he read his favourite poems of 
Burns, while my pencil was occupied in smoothing and softening 
the drawing of the bird before me. Was not this enough to 
recall to my mind the early impressions that had been made 
upon it by the description of the golden age, which I here found 
realized ? The Lehigh about this place forms numerous short 
turns between the mountains, and affords frequent falls, as well 
as, below the falls, deep pools, which render this stream a most 
valuable one for mills of any kind. Not many years before this 
date my host was chosen by the agent of the Lehigh Coal 
Company as their millwright, and manager for cutting down 
the fine trees which covered the mountains around. He was 
young, robust, active, industrious, and persevering. He marched 
to the spot where his abode now is, with some workmen, and by 
dint of hard labour first cleared the road mentioned above, and 
reached the river at the centre of a bend, where he fixed on 
erecting various mills. The pass here is so narrow that it looks 
as if formed b)' the bursting asunder of the mountain, both 
sides ascending abruptly, so that the place where the settlement 
was made is in many parts difficult of access, and the road then 
newly cut was only sufficient to permit men and horses to come 
to the spot where Jedediah and his men were at work. So great 
in fact were the difficulties of access, that, as he told me, point- 
ing to a spot about 150 feet above us, they for many months 


slipped from it their barrelled provisions, assisted by ropes, to 
their camp below. But no sooner was the first saw-mill erected, 
than the axemen began their devastation. Trees one after 
another were, and are yet constantly heard falling during the 
days, and in calm nights the greedy mills told the sad tale 
that in a century the noble forests around should exist no more. 
Many mills were erected, many dams raised, in defiance of the 
impetuous Lehigh. One full third of the trees have already 
been culled, turned into boards, and floated as far as Philadel- 
phia. In such an undertaking the cutting of the trees is not all. 
They have afterwards to be hauled to the edge of the mountains 
bordering the river, launched into the stream, and led to the 
mills, over many shallows and difficult places. Whilst I was in 
the Great Pine Swamp, I frequently visited one of the principal 
places for the launching of logs. To see them tumbling from 
such a height, touching here and there the rough angle of a 
projecting rock, bounding from it with the elasticity of a foot- 
ball, and at last falliag with awful crash into the river, forms a 
sight interesting in the highest degree, but impossible for me 
to describe. Shall 1 tell you that I have seen masses of these 
logs heaped above each other to the number of five thousand ? 
I may so tell you, for such I have seen. My friend Irish 
assured me that at some seasons these piles consisted of a 
much greater number, the river becoming in these places 
completely choked up. When freshets or floods take place, 
then is the time chosen for forwarding the logs to the different 
mills. This is called a ' frolic' Jedediah Irish, who is generally 
the leader, proceeds to the upper leap with the men, each 
provided with a strong wooden handspike and a short-handled 
axe. They all take to the water, be it summer or winter, like 
so many Newfoundland spaniels. The logs are gradually de- 
tached, and after a time are seen floating down the dancing 
stream, here striking against a rock, and whirling many times 
round, there suddenly checked in dozens by a shallow, over 
which they have to be forced with the handspikes. Now they 
arrive at the edge of a dam, and when the party has arrived at 
the last, which lies just where my friend Irish's camp was first 
formed, the drenched leader and his men, about sixty in number, 
make their way home, find thei-e a healthful repast, and spend 


the evening and a portion of the night in dancing and frolicking 
in their own simple manner, in the most perfect amity, seldom 
troubling themselves with the idea of the labour prepared for 
them on the morrow. That morrow now come, one sounds a 
horn from the door of the storehouse, at the call of which they 
all return to their work. The sawyers, the millers, the rafters, 
and raftsmen are all immediately busy. The mills all arc ' 
going, and the logs, which a few months before were the 
supporters of broad and leafy tops, are now in the act of being 
split asunder. The boards are then launched into the stream, 
and rafts are formed of them for market. 

"During the summer and autumnal months, the Lehigh, a 
small river of itself, soon becomes extremely shallow, and \o 
float the rafts would prove impossible, had not art managed to 
provide a supply of water for this express purpose. At the 
breast of the lower dam is a curiously-constructed- lock, which 
is opened at the approach of the rafts. They pass through this 
lock with the rapidity of lightning, propelled by the water that 
had been accumulated in the dam, and which is of itself gene- 
rally sufficient to float them to Mauch Chunk ; after which, 
entering regular canals, they find no other impediments, but are 
conveyed to their ultimate destination. Before population had 
greatly advanced in this part of Pennsylvania, game of all 
descriptions found in that range was extremely abundant. The 
elk did not disdain to browse on the shoulders of the mountains 
near the Lehigh. Bears and the common deer must have been 
plentiful, as at the moment when I write, many of both kinds 
are seen and killed by the resident hunters. The wild turkey, 
the pheasant, and the grouse, are tolerably abundant ; and as to 
trout in the streams — ah ! reader, if you are an angler, do go 
there and try for yourself. For my part, I can only say that I 
have been made weary with pulling up from the rivulets the 
sparkling fish, allured by the struggles of the common grass- 

" A comical affair happened with some bears, which I shall 
relate to you, good reader. A party of my friend L'ish's 
raftsmen, returning from Mauch Chunk one afternoon, through 
sundry short cuts over the mountains, at the season when the 
huckleberries are ripe and plentiful, were suddenly apprised of 


the proximity of some of these animals, by their snuffing the 
air. No sooner was this perceived than, to the astonishment of 
the party, not fewer than eight bears, I was told, made their 
appearance. Each man being provided with his short-handled 
axe, faced about and willingly came to the scratch ; but the 
assailed soon proved the assailants, and with claw and tooth 
drove off the men in a twinkling. Down they aU rushed from 
the mountain ; the noise spread quickly ; rifles were soon pro- 
cured and shouldered ; but when the spot was reached, no bears 
were to be found ; night forced the hunters back to their homes, 
and a laugh concluded the affair. 

"^I spent six weeks in the Great Pine Forest — swamp it cannot 
be called — where I made many a drawing. Wishing to leave 
Pennsylvania, and to follow the migratory flocks of our birds to 
the south, I bade adieu to the excellent wife and rosy children 
of my friend, and to his kind nephew. Jedediah Irish, shoulder- 
ing his heavy rifle, accompanied me, and trudging directly 
across the mountains, we arrived at Mauch Chunk in good time 
for dinner. At Mauch Chunk, where we both spent the night, 
Mr. White, the civil engineer, visited me, and looked at my 
drawings which I had made at the Great Pine Forest. The 
news he gave me of my sons, then in Kentucky, made me still 
more anxious to move in their direction ; and long before day- 
break I shook hands with the good man of the forest, and found 
myself moving towards the capital of Pennsylvania, having as 
my sole companion a sharp frosty breeze. Left to my thoughts, 
I felt amazed that such a place as the Great Pine Forest should 
be so little known to the Philadelphians, scarcely any of whom 
could direct me towards it. 

" Night came on as I was thinking of such things, and I was 
turned out of the coach, in the streets of the fair city, just as 
the clock struck ten. I cannot say my bones were much rested, 
but not a moment was to be lost. So I desired a porter to take 
up my little luggage, and leading him towards the nearest wharf, 
Lfouud myself soon after gliding across the Delaware, towards 
my former lodgings in the Jerseys." 


The Meeting with his Wife and Sons — Retdkn with his Wife to 
England— Provincial Cantass — The Obnithological Biogeaphy — 
Assisted by W. McGtilliveay — Publication op the Work — Hbviews 
— Immense SnM Realized and Expended — Sails again for America. 

After remaining a few days- at his lodgings, Audubon started 
off to his wife and children, who were then residing in the south 
and west ; Victor at Louisville, Kentucky, and Mrs. Audubon 
and John at Mr. Garrett Johnson's, in Mississippi, about one 
hundred and fifty miles above New Orleans. 

"I crossed the mountains to Pittsburg, in the mail-coach, 
with my dog and gun, and calling on my wife's relations, and 
one of my old partners, Mr. Thomas Pears, I proceeded down 
the Ohio in a steamboat to Louisville. On entering the 
counting-house of my relative, Mr. G. W. Bakewell, I saw my 
son Victor at a desk, but perhaps would not have recognized 
him had he not known me at once. And the pleasure I 
experienced on pressing him to my breast was increased when I 
discovered how much my dear boy had improved, as I had not 
seen him for five years. My son John Wbodhouse I also found 
at Mr. Berthond's, and he had also grown and improved. After 
spending a few days at I/ouisville, I took passage on another 
steamer going down the Mississippi, and in a few days landed 
at Bayou Sara, and was soon at the house of Mr. Johnson, and 
came suddenly on my dear wife : we were both overcome with 
emotion, which found relief in tears." 

He remained three months with his wife, but was still actively 


employed. He hunted the woods for birds and animals, and 
brought them home alive or freshly killed, to draw from. There 
are several exquisite unfinished deer-heads, in his great portfolio 
of unfinished drawings, which were begun at that time. He 
drew also, at this time, the picture of the "Black Vulture 
Attacking the Herd of Deer," several large hawks, and some 
beautiful squirrels. Having added considerably to his collection, 
he began again to think of returning to England, to increase the 
drawings already in the process of publication there. 

" Our plans," he writes, addressing his sons, " were soon 
arranged. Your mother collected the moneys due her, and 
on the first of January, eighteen hundred and thirty we started 
for New Orleans, taking with us the only three servants yet 
belonging to us, namely, Cecilia, and her two sons, Eeuben 
and Lewis. We stayed a'*few days at our friend Mr. Brand's, 
with whom we left our servants, and on the seventh of January 
took passage in the splendid steamer Philadelphia for Louis- 
ville, paying sixty dollars fare. W© were fourteen days getting 
to Louisville, having had some ^trouble with the engine. I 
passed my time there at Mr. Berthond's and your uncle 
W. Bakewell's, and amused myself hunting and stuffing birds 
until the seventh of March, when we took a steamer for 
Cincinnati, and thence to Wheeling, and so on to Washington 
in the mail-coach. Congress was in session, and I exhibited 
my drawings to the House of Eepresentatives, and received 
their subscription as a body. I saw the President, Andrew 
Jackson, who received me with great kindness, as he did your 
mother also afterwards. I became acquainted with the Hon. 
Edward Everett, Baron EJrudener, and other distinguished 
persons, and we left for Baltimore. There my drawings were 
exhibited, and I obtained three subscribers, and left for Phila- 
delphia, where we remained one week. I saw my friends 
Harlan, Mr. Murtrie, and Sully, and went to New York, from 
whence we sailed in the packet-ship Pacific, Captain K. Oroker, 
fo» England. 

"After a passage of twenty-five days, on which nothing 
happened worthy of record, we had crossed the Atlantic and 
arrived safely in Liverpool. 

" In England everything had gone well, and although my 


list of subscribers had not increased, it had not much diminished. 
During my absence I had been elected a fellow of the Eoyal 
Society of London, for wliich I believe I am indebted to Lord 
Stanley and J. S. Children, Esq., of the British Museum, and on 
the sixth of May I took my seat in the great hall, and paid my 
entrance fee of fifty pounds, though I felt myself that I had not 
the qualifications to entitle me to such an honour." 

Soon after his arrival in England, he found that subscribers 
did not pay up as regularly as he expected, and money being 
needed to push forward the engraving of the " Birds of America," 
he again resorted to his pencil and brush, and painted birds and 
quadrupeds, for all of which he found ready sale at satisfactory 
prices. Besides this he was occupied in filling up the ground- 
work of many of his drawings, and introducing plants and trees 
which had at first been given only in outline. His stay at 
London however was not long. Mrs. Audubon having joined 
him there after a few weeks, not liking a residence in the city, 
travelled with him on his journeys to obtain new subscribers. 

"We visited Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, York, Hull, 
Scarborough, Whitby, Newcastle, and received several sub- 
scriptions at the latter place ; and my former friends, Mr. 
A damson and the Eev. Mr. Turner, were quite kind to us, as 
also was the family of the Earl of Eavensworth. On our way 
to Edinburgh we stopped a few days and were hospitably enter- 
tained at Pursel House, by Mr. Selby. 

" October 13, 1830. We reached Edinburgh safely, and took 
lodgings at my old boarding-house, with Mrs. Dickie, where we 
were made very comfortable." 

At this period Audubon began to prepare his " Ornithological 
Biography of the Birds of America," a work containing nearly 
three thousand pages, and published by Mr. Black of Edinburgh. 

" I applied to Mr. James Wilson, to ask if he knew of any 
person who would undertake to correct my ungrammatical 
manuscripts, and to assist me in arranging the more scientific 
part of the 'Biography of the Birds.' He gave me a carrd 
with the address of Mr. W. McGillivray, spoke well of him 
and of his talents, and away to Mr. McGillivray I went. He 
had long known of me as a naturalist. I made known my 
business, and a bargain was soon struck. He agreed to assist 


me, and correct my manuscripts for two guineas per sheet of 
sixteen pages, and I that day began to write the first volume. 

" A few days after I began writing on the Biography, it was 
known in Edinburgh that I had arrived, and Professors Jameson, 
Graham, and others whom I had known, called on me ; and I 
found at the ' fom-teenth hour,' that no less than three editions 
of ' Wilson's Ornithology ' were about to be published, one by 
Jameson, one by Sir W. Jardine, and another by a Mr. Brown. 
Most persons would probably have been discouraged by this 
information, but it only had a good effect on me, because since 
I have been in England I have studied the character of English- 
men as carefully as I studied the birds in America. And I 
know full well, that in England novelty is always in demand, 
and that if a thing is well known it will not receive much 
support. "Wilson has had his day, thought I to myself, and now 
is my time. I will write, and I will hope to be read ; and not 
only so, but I wUl push my publication with such unremitting 
vigour, that my book shall come before the public before 
Wilson's can be got out. 

" Writing now became the order of the day. I sat at it as 
soon as I awoke in the morning, and continued the whole long 
day, and so full was my mind of birds and their habits, that in 
my sleep I continually dreamed of birds. I found Mr. McGillivray 
equally industrious, for although he did not rise so early in the 
morning as I did, he wrote much later at night (this I am told 
is a characteristic of all great writers) ; and so the manuscripts 
went on increasing in bulk, like the rising of a stream after 
abundant rains, and before three months had passed the first 
volume was finished. Meanwhile your mother copied it all to 
send to America, to secure the copyright there. 

" I made an arrangement with Mr. Patrick Neill, the printer, 
who undertook the work, for I was from necessity my own 
publisher. I offered this famous book to two booksellers, neither 
of whom woidd give me a shilling for it, and it was fortunate 
that they would not ; and most happy is the man who can, as I 
did, keep himself independent of that class of men called the 
' gentlemen of the trade.' Poor Wilson, how happy he would 
have been, if he had had it in his power to bear the expenses of 
his own beautiful work ! 


" Mareh 13, 1831. My book is now on the eve of being 
presented to the world. The printing will be completed in a few 
days, and I have sent copies of the sheets to Dr. Harlan and 
Mr. McMurtrie, at Philadelphia, and also one hundred pounds 
sterling to Messrs. T. Walker and Sons, to be paid to Dr. 
Harlan to secure the copyright, and have the book published 

"March 20, 1831. Made an agreement with Mr. J. B. Kidd, 
a young painter whom I have known for the last four years, to 
copy some of my drawings in oil, and to put backgrounds to 
them, so as to make them appear like pictures. It was our 
intention to send them to the exhibition for sale, and to divide 
the amount between us. He painted eight, and then I pro- 
posed, if he would paint the one hundred engravings which 
comprise my first volume of the ' Birds of America,' I would 
pay him one hundred pounds. 

" April 15. "We left Edinburgh this day, and proceeded towards 
London by the way of Newcastle, York, Leeds, Manchester, and 
Liverpool. At the latter place, we spent a few days, and 
travelled on that extraordinary road called the railway, at the 
rate of twenty-four miles an hour. On arriving at London I 
found it urgent for me to visit Paris, to collect monies due me 
by my agent (Pitois) there. 

" Several reviews of my work have appeared ; one in ' Black- 
wood's Magazine ' is particularly favourable. The editor, John 
Wilson of Edinburgh, is a clever good fellow, and I wrote to 
thank him. Dr. Tuke, an Irishman of lively manners, brought 
the editors of the ' Atlas ' to see my Birds, and they have praised 
also. We have received letters from America of a cheering 
kind, and which raised my dull spirits, but in spite of all this 
I feel dull, rough in temper, and long for nothing so much as 
my dear woods. I have balanced my accounts with the ' Birds of 
America,' and the whole business is really wonderful; forty 
thousand dollars have passed through my hands for the com- 
pletion of the first volume. Who would believe that a lonely 
individual, who landed in England without a friend in the whole 
country, and with only sufficient pecuniary means to travel 
through it as a visitor, could have accomplished such a task as 
this publication? Who would believe that once in London 


Audubon had only one sovereign left in his pocket, and did not 
know of a single individual to whom he could apply to borrow 
another, when he was on the verge of failure in the very 
beginning of his undertaking ; and above all, who would believe 
that he extricated himself from all his difficulties, not by borrow- 
ing money, but by rising at four o'clock in the morning, work- 
ing hard all day, and disposing of his works at a price which a 
common labourer would have thought little more than sufScient 
remuneration for his work ? To give you an idea of my actual 
difficulties during the publication of my first volume, it will be 
sufficient to say, that in the four years required to bring that 
volume before the world, no less than fifty of my subscribers, 
representing the sum of fifty-six thousand dollars, abandoned 
me ! And whenever a few withdrew I was forced to leave 
•London, and go to the provinces to obtain others to supply their 
places, in order to enable me to raise the money to meet the 
expenses of engraving, colouring, paper, printing, &c. ; and that 
with all my constant exertions, fatigues, and vexations, I find 
myself now having but one hundred and thirty standing names 
on my list. 

" England is most wealthy, and among her swarms of inhabi- 
tants there are many whom I personally know, and to whom, if 
I were to open my heart, there would be a readiness to help me 
for the sake of science ; but my heart revolts from asking such 
a favour, and I will continue to trust in that Providence which 
has helped me thus far." 

The sixth volume of the journal abruptly ends with the above 
paragraph. But intimations are given in the last chapter of 
Audubon's intention to return to America as soon as possible. 
He knew of regions which he had not explored, where he felt 
confident he could make large additions of new birds to his 
collection ; and anxious to enrich his store, after making the 
same careful preparations as before to have his work go on 
during his absence, he sailed once more for his native land. 


Eetitrn to America — Fibst Episode in East Ploeida. 

On September 3, 1831, Audubon landed in New York. After 
spending a few da,js with relatives and friends he went to Boston, 
and was hospitably received by his friends. There he remained 
but a short time, having resolved to spend the winter in East 

All the most interesting incidents of what he called a rather 
unprofitable expedition were woven by Audubon into the striking 
episodes given in this and subsequent chapters. 

" Soon after landing at St. Augustine, in East Florida, I formed 
an acquaintance with Dr. Simmons, Dr. Pocher, Judge Smith, 
the Misses Johnson, and many other individuals, my intercourse 
with whom was as agreeable as it was beneficial to me. While 
in this part of the peninsula I followed my usual avocations, 
although with little success, it being then winter. I had letters 
from the secretaries of the navy and treasury of the United 
States, to the commanding officers of vessels of war in the 
revenue service, directing them to afford me any assistance in 
their power, and the schooner Shark having come to St. Augus- 
tine, on her way to the St. John's river, I presented my creden- 
tials to her commander, Lieutenant Piercy, who readily, and 
with politeness, received me and my assistants on board. We 
soon after set sail, with a fair breeze. 

" The strict attention to duty on board even this small vessel of 
war afforded matter of surprise to me. Everything went on with 


the regularity of a cbronometer : orders were given, answered to, 
and accomplished, before they ceased to vibrate on the ear. The 
neatness of the crew equalled the cleanliness of the white planks 
of the deck ; the sails were in perfect condition, and built as the 
Shark was for swift sailing, on she went bowling from wave to 
wave. I thought that, while thus sailing, no feeling but that of 
pleasure could exist in our breasts. Alas ! how fleeting are our 
enjoyments. When we were almost at the entrance of the river the 
wind changed, the sky became clouded, and before many minutes 
had elapsed the little bark was lying to, ' like a duck,' as her 
commander expressed himself. It blew a hurricane : let it blow, 
reader. At the break of day we were again at anchor within the 
bar of St. Augustine. Our next attempt was successful. Not 
many hours after we had crossed the bar we perceived the star- 
like glimmer of the light in the great lantern at the entrance 
into the St. John's river. This was before daylight ; and as the 
crossing of the sand-banks or bars which occur at the mouths 
of all the streams of this peninsula is difficult, and can be accom- 
plished only when the tide is up, one of the guns was fired as a 
signal for the government pilot. The good man it seemed was 
unwilling to leave his couch, but a second gun brought him in 
his canoe alongside. The depth of the channel was barely 
sufficient. My eyes, however, were not directed towards the 
waters, but on high, where flew some thousands of ' snowy 
pelicans,' which had fled affrighted from their resting grounds. 
How beautifully they performed their broad gyrations, and how 
matchless, after a while, was the marshalling of their files as they 
flew past us ! 

" On the tide we proceeded apace. Myriads of cormorants 
covered the face of the waters, and over it the fish-crows 
innumerable were already arriving from their distant roosts. 
We landed at one place to search for the birds whose charm- 
ing melodies had engaged our attention, and here and there 
we shot some young eagles, to add to our store of fresh pro- 
vision. The river did not seem to me equal iu beauty to the 
fair Ohio; the shores were in many places low and swampy, 
to- the great delight of the numberless herons that moved 
along in gracefulness, and the grim alligators that swam in 
sluggish sullen ness. In going up a bayou we caught a great 


number of the young of the latter, for the purpose of making 
experiments upon them. After sailing a considerable way, 
during which our commander and officers took the soundings, as 
well as the angles and bearings of every nook and crook of the 
sinuous stream, we anchored one evening at a distance of fully 
one hundred miles from the mouth of the river. The weather, 
although it was the 12th of February, was quite warm, the 
thermometer on board standing at 75°, and on shore at 90' , 
The fog was so thick that neither of the shores could be seen, 
and yet the river was not a mile in breadth. The 'blind 
mosquitoes ' covered every object, even in the cabin, and so won- 
derfully abundant were these tormentors, that they more than 
once extinguished the candles whilst I was writing my journal, 
which I closed in despair, crushing between the leaves more than 
ia hundred of the little wretches. Bad as they are, however, 
these blind mosquitoes do not bite. As if purposely to render 
our situation doubly uncomfortable, there was an establishment 
for jerking beef on the nearer shore to the windward of our 
vessel, from which the breeze came laden with no sweet odours. 
In the morning when I arose the country was still covered with 
thick fogs, so that although I could plainly hear the notes of 
the birds on shore, not an object could I see beyond the bowsprit, 
and the air was as close and sultry as on the previous evening. 

"Gruided by the scent of 'jerker's works,' we went on shore, 
where we found the vegetation already far advanced. The 
blossoms of the jessamine, ever pleasing, lay steeped in dew ; 
the humming-bee was collecting her winter store from the 
snowy flowers of the native orange ; and the little warblers 
frisked about the twigs of the smilax. Now, amid the tall pines 
of the forest, the sun's raj's began to force their way, and as the 
dense mists dissolved in the atmosphere the bright luminary 
shone forth. We explored the woods around, guided by some 
friendly ' live oakers,' who had pitched their camp in the 
vicinity. After a while the Shark again displayed her sails, 
and as she silently glided along, we espied a Seminole Indian 
approaching us in his canoe. The poor dejected son of the 
woods, endowed with talents of the highest order, although 
rarely acknowledged by the proud usurpers of his native soil, 
has spent the night in fishing, and the morning in procuring 


the superb feathered game of the swampy thickets, and with 
both he comes to offer them for our acceptance. Alas ! thou 
fallen one, descendant of an ancient line of free-born hunters, 
would that I could restore to thee thy birthright, thy natural 
independence, the generous feelings that were once fostered in 
thy brave bosom ! But the irrevocable deed is done, and I can 
merely admire the perfect symmetry of his frame, as he dex- 
terously throws on our deck the trout and turkeys which he has 
captured. He receives a recompense, and without a smile or 
bow, or acknowledgment of any kind, off he starts with the 
speed of an arrow from his own bow. 

"Alligators were extremely abundant, and the heads of the 
fishes which they had snapped off lay floating around on the dark 
waters. A rifle bullet was now and then sent through the eye 
of one of the largest, which, with a tremendous splash of its tail, 
expired. One morning we saw a monstrous fellow lying on the 
shore. I was desirous of obtaining him, to make an accurate 
drawing of his head, and, accompanied by my assistant and two 
of the sailors, proceeded cautiously towards him. When within 
a few yards, one of us fired, and sent through his side an ounce 
ball, which tore open a hole large enough to receive a man's hand. 
He slowly raised his head, bent himself upwards, opened his huge 
jaws, swung his tail to and fro, rose on his legs, blew in a fright- 
ful manner, and fell to the earth. My assistant leaped on shore, 
and, contrary to my injunctions, caught hold of the animal's 
tail, when the alligator, awakening from its trance, with a last 
effort crawled slowly towards the water, and plunged heavily 
into it. Had he thought of once flourishing his tremendous 
weapon, there might have been an end of his assailant's life ; 
but he fortunately went in peace to his grave, where we left 
him, as the water was too deep. The same morning, another 
of equal size was observed swimming directly for the bows of 
our vessel, attracted by the gentle rippling of the water there. 
One of the officers who had watched him fired, and scattered 
his brains through the air, when he tumbled and rolled at a 
fearful rate, blowing all the while most furiously. The river 
was bloody for yards around, but although the monster passed 
close by the vessel, we could not secure him, and after a while 
he sank to the bottom. 


" Early one morning I hired a boat and two men, with a view 
of returning to St. Augustine by a short cut. Our baggage 
being placed on board, I bade adieu to the ofiBcers and crew, and 
off we started. About four in the afternoon we arrived at the 
short cut, forty miles di$tant from our point of departure, and 
where we had expected to procure a waggon, but were dis- 
^ppeiiited ; so we laid our things on the bank, and leaving one 
of my, assistants to look after them, I set oiit, accompanied by 
the other and my Newfoundland dog. We had eighteen miles 
to go, ai^ the sun was only two hours high, we struck off at 
a good rate. . Presently we entered a pine barren. The country 
was as level as a floor ; our path, although narrow, was well 
beaten, having been used by the Seminole Indians for ages ; and 
the weather was calm, and mow and then a rivulet occurred, from 
which we quenched our thirst, 'while the magnolias and other 
flowering plants on its banks relieved the duU uniformity of the 
woods. "When the path separated into two branches, both seem- 
ingly leading the same way, I would follow one, while my com- 
panion took the other, and unless we met again in a short time, 
one of us would go across the intervening forest. The siin went 
down behind a cloud, and the south-east breeze that sprung' up 
at this moment sounded dolefully among the tall pines. Along 
the eastern horizon Jay a bed of black vapour, which gradually 
rose, a^d- soon -covered the heavens. The air felt hot and 
oppressive, and we knew that a tempest was approaching. Plato 
was now our guide, the white spots on his skin being the only 
objects that we could discern amid the darkness ; and as if 
aware of his utility in this respect, he kept a short way before 
us on the trail. Had we imagined ourselves more than a few 
miles from the town, we would have made a camp, and remained 
under its shelter for the night ; but conceiving that the distance 
could not be great, we resolved to trudge along. Large drops 
began to fall from the murky mass overhead ; thick impene- 
trable darkness surrounded us, and, to my dismay, the dog 
refused to proceed. Groping with my hands on the ground, I 
discovered that several trails branched out at the spot where 
he lay down, and when I had selected one he went on. Vivid 
flashes of lightning streamed across the heavens, the wind 
increased to a gale, and the rain poured down upon us lilte a 

N 2 


torrent. The water soon rose on the level ground, so as almost 
to cover our feet, and we slowly advanced, fronting the tempest. 
Here and there a tall pine on fire presented a magnificent 
spectacle, illumining the trees around it, and surrounded with 
a halo of dim light, abruptly bordered with the deep black of 
the night. At one time we passed through a tangled thicket of 
low trees, at another crossed a stream flushed by the heavy 
rains, and again proceeded over the open barrens. How long we 
thus, half lost, groped our way, is more than I can tell you, but 
at length the tempest passed over, and suddenly the clear sky 
became spangled with stars. Soon after we smelt the salt 
marshes, and walking directly towards them — ^like pointers 
advancing on a covey of partridges — we at last, to our great 
joy, descried the light of the beacon near St. Augustine. My 
dog began to run briskly around, and having met with ground 
on which he had hunted before, and taking a direct course, led 
us to the great causeway that crosses the marshes at the back 
of the town. We refreshed ourselves with the produce of the 
first orange-tree that we met with, and in half an hour more 
arrived at our hotel Drenched with rain, steaming with per- 
spiration, and covered to the knees with mud, you may imagine 
what figures we cut in the eyes of the good people whom we 
found snugly enjoying themselves in the sitting-room. Next 
morning Major Gates, who had received me with much kind- 
ness, sent a waggon with mules and two trusty soldiers for my 
companion and the luggage." 


Second Florida Episode : The Live Oakers. 

" The greater part of the forests of Bast Florida principally 
consists of what in that country are called 'pine barrens.' 
In these districts the woods are rather thin, and the only trees 
that are seen in them are tall pines, of rather indifferent quality, 
beneath which is a growth of rank grass, here and there mixed 
with low bushes and sword palmettoes. The soil is of a sandy 
nature, mostly flat, and consequently either covered with water 
during the rainy season, or parched in the summer and autumn, 
although you meet at times with ponds of stagnant water, where 
the cattle — which are abundant — allay their thirst, and around 
which resort the various kinds of game found in these wilds. 
The traveller who has pursued his course for many miles over 
the barrens, is suddenly delighted to see in the distance the 
appearance of a dark ' hummock ' of live oaks and other trees, 
seeming as if they had been planted in the wilderness. As he 
approaches, the air feels cooler and more salubrious, the song 
of numerous birds delights his ear, the herbage assumes a more 
luxuriant appearance, the flowers become larger and brighter, 
and a grateful fragrance is diffused around. These objects 
contribute to refresh his mind, as much as the sight of the 
waters of some clear spring, gKding among the undergrowth, 
seems already to allay his thirst. Overhead festoons of innu- 
merable vines, jessamines, and bignonias, Imk each tree with 
those argund it, their slender stems being interlaced as if in 


mutual affection. No sooner in the shade of these beautiful 
woods has the traveller finished his mid-day repast, than he 
perceives small parties of men, lightly accoutred, and each 
bearing an axe, approaching towards his resting-place. They 
exchange the usual civilities, and immediately commence their 
labours, for they too have just finished their meal. I think I 
see them proceeding to their work. Here two have stationed 
themselves on the opposite sides of the trunk of a noble and 
venerable live oak. Their keen-edged and well-tempered axes 
seem to make no impression on it, so small are the chips that 
drop at^ each blow around the mossy and wide-spreading roots. 
There one is ascending the stem of another, of which, in its fall, 
the arms have stuck among the tangled tops of the neighbour- 
ing trees. See how cautiously he proceeds, bare-footed, and 
with a handkerchief round his head ; now he has climbed to 
the height of about forty feet from the ground ; he stops, and 
squaring himself with the trunk on which he so boldly stands, 
he wields with sinewy arms his trusty blade, the repeated blows 
of which — although the tree be as tough as it is large — will 
soon sever it in two. He has changed sides, and his back is 
turned to you. The trunk now remains connected by only a 
thin strip of wood. He places his feet on the part which is 
lodged, and shakes it with all his might. Now swings the 
huge log under his leaps, now it suddenly gives way, and as it 
strikes upon the ground, its echoes are repeated through the 
hummock, and every wild turkey within hearing utters his 
gobble of recognition. The woodcutter, however, remains 
' collected and composed,' but the next moment he throws his 
axe to the ground, and assisted by the nearest grape-vine, slides 
down, and reaches the earth in an instant. Several men ap- 
proach and examine the prostrate trunk. They cut at both 
extremities, and sound the whole of the bark, to enable them 
to judge if the tree has been attacked by white rot. If such 
has unfortunately been the case, there, for a century or more, 
this huge log will remain, till it gradually crumbles; but if 
not, and if it is free of injury or * wind-shakes,' while there is 
no appearance of the sap having already ascended, and its pores 
are altogether sound, they proceed to take its measurement. 
Its shape ascertained, and the timber that is fit for use laid out 

"LIVE OAKS." 183 

by the aid of models, which — like fragments of the skeleton of 
a ship — show the forms and sizes required, the ' hewers ' com- 
mence their labours. 

" Thus, reader, perhaps every known hummock in the Floridas 
is annually attacked; and so often does it happen that the 
white rot, or some other disease, has deteriorated the quality of 
the timber, that the woods may be seen strewn with trunks that 
have been found worthless, so that every year these valuable 
oaks are becoming scarcer. The destruction of the young 
trees of this species, caused by the fall of the great trunks, is 
of course immense ; and as there are no artificial plantations of 
these trees in our country, before long a good-sized live oak 
will be so valuable, that its owner will exact an enormous price 
for it, even while it yet stands in the wood. In my opinion, 
formed on personal observation, live-oak hummocks are not 
quite as plentiful as they are represented to be ; and of this I 
will give you one illustration. 

"On the 25th of February, 1832, I happened to be far up St. 
John's Eiver, East Florida, in company of a person employed 
by our government in protecting the 'live oaks' of that 
section of the country, and who received a good salary for his 
trouble. While we were proceeding along one of the banks of 
that most singular riyer, my companion pointed out some large 
hummocks of dark-leaved trees on the opposite side, which he 
said were entirely formed of live oaks. I thought differently, 
and as our controversy on the subject became a little warm, I 
proposed that our men should row us to the place, where we 
might examine the leaves and timber, and so decide the point. 
We soon landed, but after inspecting the woods, not a single 
tree of the species did we find, although there were thousands 
of large 'swamp oaks.' My companion acknowledged his 
mistake, and I continued to search for birds. 

" One dark evening, as I was seated on the banks of the same 
river, considering what arrangements I should make for the 
night — as it began to rain in torrents — a man, who happened to 
see me, came up and invited me to go to his cabin, which he 
said was not far off. I accepted this kind offer, and followed 
him to his humble dwelling. There I found his wife, several 
children, and a number of meUj who, as my host told me, were, 


like himself, 'live oakers.' Supper was placed on a large 
table, and on being desired to join the party, I willingly as- 
sented, doing my best to diminish the contents of the tin pans 
and dishes set before the company by the active and agreeable 
housewife. We then talked of the country, its climate and 
productions, until a late hour, when we laid ourselves down on 
bear-skins, and reposed till daybreak. 

" I longed to accompany these hardy woodcutters to the hum- 
mock, where they were engaged in preparing live oak timber for 
a man-of-war. Provided with axes and guns, we left the house 
to the care of the wife and children, and proceeded for several 
miles through a pine barren, such as I have attempted to 
describe. One fine old turkey was shot, and when we arrived 
at the shanty, put up near the hummock, we found another 
party of woodcutters waiting our arrival before eating their 
breakfast, already prepared by a negro man, to whom the 
turkey was consigned, to be roasted for part of that day's dinner. 
Our repast was an excellent one, and vied with a Kentucky 
breakfast. Beef, fish, potatoes, and other vegetables, were 
served up with. coffee in tin cups, and plenty of biscuit. Every 
man seemed hungry and happy, and the conversation assumed 
the most humorous character. The sun now rose above the 
trees, and all excepting the cook proceeded to the hummock, 
on which I had been gazing with great dehght, as it promised 
rare sport. My host, I found, was the chief of the party ; and 
although he had an axe, he made no other use of it than for 
stripping here and there pieces of bark from certain trees, which 
he considered of doubtful soundness. He was not only well 
versed in his profession, but generally intelligent, and from 
him I received the following account, which I noted at the time. 

•'The men employed in cutting the live oak, after having 
discovered a good hummock, build shanties of small logs, to 
retire to at night and feed in by day. Their provisions consist 
of beef, pork, potatoes, biscuit, rice, flour, and fish, together with 
excellent whiskey. They are mostly hale, strong, and active 
men, from the eastern parts of the Union, and receive excellent 
wages, according to their different abilities. Their labours are 
only of a few months' duratio"n. Such hummocks as are found 
near navigable streams are first chosen, and when it is abso-^ 


lutely necessary, this timber is hauled five or six miles to the 
nearest water-course, where, although it sinks, it can, with com- 
parative ease, be shipped to its destination. The best time for 
cutting the ' live oak ' is considered to be from the first of 
December to the first of March, or while the sap is completely 
down. When the sap is flowing the tree is ' bloom,' and more 
apt to be ' shaken.' The white rot, which occurs so frequently 
in the live oak, and is perceptible only by the best judges, 
consists of round spots, about an inch and a half in diameter, 
on the outside of the bark, through which, at that spot, a hard 
stick may be driven several inches, and generally follows the 
heart up or down the trunk of the tree. So deceiving are these 
spots and trees to persons unacquainted with this defect, that 
thousands of trees are cut and abandoned. The great number 
of trees of this sort strewn in the woods would tend to make a 
stranger believe that there is much more good oak in the 
country than there really is ; and perhaps, in reality, not more 
than one fourth of the quantity usually reported is to be pro- 
cured. The ' live oakers ' generally revisit their distant homes 
in the middle and eastern states, where they spend the summer, 
returning to the Floridas at the approach of winter. Some, 
however, who have gone there with their families, remain for 
years in. succession, although they suffer much from the climate, 
by which their once good constitutions are often greatly im- 
paired. This was the case with the individual alDove mentioned, 
from whom I subsequently received much friendly assistance in 
my pursuits." 



Third Florida Episode : The Lost One. 

" A ' LIVE OAKEB ' employed on the St. John's Eiver, in East 
Florida, left his cabin — situated on the hanks of that stream — 
and, with an axe on his shoulder, proceeded towards the swamp, 
in which he had several times before plied his trade of felling 
and squaring the giant trees that afford the most valuable 
timber for naval architecture and other purposes. At the 
season which is the best for this kind of labour, heavy fogs not 
Tinfrequently cover the country, so as to render it difficult for 
one to see farther than thirty or forty yards in any direction. 
The woods, too, present so little variety, that every tree seems 
the mere counterpart of every other; and the grass, when it 
has not been burnt, is so tall, that a man of ordinary stature 
cannot see over it ; whence it is necessary for him to proceed 
with great caution, lest he should unwittingly deviate from the 
ill-defined trail which he follows. To increase the difficulty, 
several trails often meet, in which case — unless the explorer be 
perfectly acquainted with the neighbourhood — it would be well 
for him to lie down and wait until the fog should disperse. 
The live oaker had been jogging onwards for several hours, and 
became aware that he must have travelled considerably more 
than the distance between his cabin and the ' hummock ' which 
he desired to reach. To his alarm, at the moment when the fog 
dispersed, he saw that the sun was at its meridian height, and he 
could not recognize a single object around him. Young, healthy. 


and active, he imagined that he had walked with more than 
usual speed, and had passed the place to which he was bound. 
He accordingly turned his back upon the sun, and pursued a dif- 
ferent route, guided by a small trail. Time passed, and the sun 
headed his course ; he saw it gradually descend in the west, but all 
around him continued as if enveloped with mystery. The huge 
gray trees spread their giant boughs over him, the rank grass 
extended on all sides, not a living being crossed his path ; all 
was silent and still, and the scene was like a dull and dreary 
dream of the land of oblivion. He wandered like a forgotten 
ghost that had passed into the land of spirits, without yet 
meeting one of his kind with whom to hold converse. 

" The condition of a man lost in the woods is one of the most 
perplexing that could be imagined by a person who has not 
himself been in a like predicament. Every object he sees he at 
first thinks he recognizes ; and while his whole mind is bent on 
searching for more that may gradually lead to his extrication, 
he goes on committing greater errors the farther he proceeds. 
This was the case with the live oaker. The sun was now setting 
with a fiery aspect, and by degrees it sunk in its full circular 
form, as if giving warning of a sultry to-morrow. Myriads of 
insects, delighted at its departure, now filled the air on buzzing 
wings. Each piping frog arose from the muddy pool in which 
it had concealed itself, the squirrel retired to its hole, the crow 
to its roost, and, far above, the harsh croaking voice of the 
heron announced that, full of anxiety, it was wending its way 
to the miry interior of some distant swamp. Now the woods 
began to resound to the shrill cries of the owl and the breeze, 
as it swept among the columnar stems of the forest trees, laden 
with heavy and chilling dew. Alas ! no moon, with her silvery 
light, shone on the dreary scene, and the lost one, wearied and 
vexed, laid himself down on the damp ground. Prayer is 
always consolatoiy to man in every difficulty or danger, and the 
woodsman fervently prayed to his Maker, wished his family a 
happier night than it was his lot to experience, and with a 
feverish anxiety waited the return of day. You may imagine 
the length of that cold, dull, moonless night. With the dawn 
of day came the usual fogs of those latitudes. The poor man 
started on his feet, and witli a sorrowful heart pursued a course 


which he thought might lead him to some familiar object, 
although, indeed, he scarcely knew what he was doing. No 
longer had he the trace of a track to guide him, and yet, as the 
sun rose, he calculated the many hours of daylight he had 
before him, and the farther he went, continued to walk the 
faster. But Tain were aU his- hopes : that day was spent in 
fruitless endeavours to regain the -path that led to his home, 
and when night again approached, the terror that had been 
gradually spreading over his mind — together with the nervous 
debility induced by fatigue, anxiety, and hunger — rendered him 
almost frantic. He told me that at this moment he beat his 
breast, tore his hair, and, had it not been for the piety with 
which his parents had in early life imbued his mind, and which 
had become habitual, would have cursed his existence. 

" Famished as he now was, he laid himself on the ground, and 
fed on the weeds and grass that grew around him. That night 
was spent in the greatest agony and terror. 'I knew my 
situation,' he said to me. 'I was fully aware that, unless 
Almighty God came to my assistance, I must perish in those 
uninhabited woods. I knew that I had walked more than fifty 
miles, although I had not met with a brook from which I 
could quench my thirst, or even allay the burning heat of my 
parched lips and bloodshot eyes. 

" ' I knew that if I could not meet with some stream I must 
die, for my axe was my only weapon ; and although deer and 
bears now and then started within a few yards or even feet of 
me, not one of them could I kill ; and although I was in the 
midst of abundance, not a moutliful did I expect to procure, to 
satisfy the cravings of my empty stomach. Sir, may God pre- 
serve you from ever feeling as I did the whole of that day !' 
For several days after no one can imagine the condition in 
which he was, for when he related to me this painful adventure, 
he assured me he had lost all recollection of what had happened. 
' God,' he continued, ' must have taken pity on me, one day, 
for as I ran wildly through those dreadful pine barrens I met 
with a tortoise. I gazed upon it with delight and amazement, 
and although I knew that, were I to foUow it undisturbed, it 
would lead me to some water, my hunger and thirst would not 
allow me to refrain from satisfying both by eating its flesh and 


drinking its blood. With one stroke of my axe the beast was 
cut in two ; in a few moments I despatched all but the shell. 
Oh, sir, how much I thanked God, whose kindness had put the 
tortoise in my way ! I felt greatly renewed. I sat down at the 
foot of a pine, gazed on the heavens, thought of my poor wife 
and children, and again and again thanked my God for my life, 
for now I felt less distracted in mind, and more assured that 
before long I must recoyer my way, and get back to my home.' 
The lost one remained and passed the night at the foot of the 
same tree under which his repast had been made. Refreshed 
by a sound sleep, he started at dawn to resume his weary march. 
The sun rose bright, and he followed the direction of his 
shadows. Still the dreariness of the woods was the same, and 
he was on the point of giving up in despair, when he observed 
a raccoon lying squatted in the grass. Raising his axe, he drove 
it with such violence through the helpless animal, that it 
expired without a struggle. What he had done with the 
turtle he now did with the raccoon, the greater part of which he 
actually devoured at one meal. With more comfortable feel- 
ings he then resumed his wanderings — his journey I cannot say 
— ^for although in the possession of all his faculties, and in broad 
daylight, he was worse oiF than a lame man groping his way in 
the dark out of a dungeon, of which he knew not where the 
door stood. Days one after another passed- — nay, weeks in 
succession. He fed now on cabbage trees, then on frogs and 
snakes. All that fell in his way was welcome and savoury. 
Yet he became daily more emaciated, and at length he could 
scarcely crawl ; forty days had ela.psed, by his own reckoning, 
when he at last reached the banks of the river. His clothes in 
tatters, his once bright axe dimmed with rust, his face begrimed 
with beard, his hair matted, and his feeble frame little better 
than a skeleton covered with parchment, there he laid himself 
down to die. Amid the pertm-bed dreams of his fevered fancy, 
he thought he heard the noise of oars far away on the silent 
river. He listened, but the sounds died away on his ear. It 
was indeed a dream, the last glimmer of expiring hope, and 
now the light of life was about to be quenched for ever. But 
again the sound of oars awoke him from his lethargy. He 
listened so eagerly that the hum of a fly could not have escaped 


his ear. They were indeed the measured beats of oars ; and 
now, joy to the forlorn soul ! the sound of human voices thrilled 
to his heart, and awoke the tumultuous pulses of returning 
hope. On his knees did the eye of God see that poor man, by 
the broad, stiU stream, that glittered in the sunbeams, and 
human eyes soon saw him too, for round that headland covered 
with tangled brushwood boldly advances the little boat, pro- 
pelled by its lusty rowers. The lost one raises his feeble voice 
on high; it was a loud shrill scream of joy and fear. The 
rowers pause, and look around. Another, but feebler scream, 
and they observe him. It comes — his heart flutters, his sight 
is dimmed, his brain reels, he gasps for breath ! It comes — it 
has run upon the beach, and the lost one is found. 

" This is no tale of fiction, but the relation of an actual occur- 
rence, which might be embellished, no doubt, but which is better 
in the plain garb of truth. The notes by which I recorded it 
were written in the cabin of the once lost ' live oaker,' about 
four years after the painful incident occurred. His amiable wife 
and loving children were present at the recital, and never shall 
I forget the tears that flowed from them as they listened to it, 
albeit it had long been more familiar to them than a tale thrice 
told. It only remains for me to say that the distance between 
the cabin and the live oak hummock to which the woodsman was 
bound scarcely exceeded eight miles, while the part of the river 
at which he was found was thirty-eight miles from his house. 
Calculating his daily wanderings at ten miles, we may believe 
that they amounted in all to four hundred. He must there- 
fore have rambled in a circuitous direction, which people gene- 
rally do iu such circumstances. Nothing but the great strength 
of his constitution and the merciful aid of his Maker could have 
supported him for so long a time." 


Fourth PLOEroA Episode : Spbin» G-aeden. 

" Having heard many wonderful accounts of a certain spring 
near tlie sources of the St. John's Eivef, in East Florida, I 
resolved to visit it, in order to judge for myself. On the 
6th of January, 1832, I left the plantation of my friend John 
Bulow, accompanied by an amiable and accomplished Scotch 
gentleman, an engineer employed by the planters of those 
districts in erecting their sugar-house establishments. We 
were mounted on horses of the Indian breed, remarkable for 
their activity and strength, and were provided with guns and 
some provision. The weather was pleasant, but not so our way, 
for no sooner had we left the ' King's Eoad,' which had been 
cut by the Spanish government for a goodly distance, than we 
entered a thicket of scrubby oaks, succeeded by a still denser 
mass of low palmettoes, which extended about three miles, and 
among the roots of which our nags had great difficulty in 
making good their footing. 

"After this we entered the pine barrens, so extensively dis. 
tributed in this portion of Florida. The sand seemed to be all 
sand, and nothing but sand, and the palmettoes at times so covered 
the narrow Indian trail which we followed, that it required all the 
instinct or sagacity of ourselves and our horses to keep it. It 
seemed to us as if we were approaching the end of the world. 
The country was perfectly flat, and, so far as we could survey it, 
presented the same wild and scraggy aspect. My companion, who 


had travelled there before, assured me that at particular seasons of ' 
the year he had crossed the barrens when they were covered with 
water fully knee-deep — when, according to his expression, they 
' looked most awful ;' and I readily believed him, as we now and then 
passed through muddy pools which reached the saddle-girths of 
our horses. Here and there large tracts covered with tall grasses, 
and resembling the prairies of the western wilds, opened to our 
view. Wherever the country happened to be sunk a little 
beneath the general level, it was covered with cypress-trees, 
whose spreading arms were hung with a profusion of Spanish 
moss. The soil in such cases consisted of black mud, and was 
densely covered with bushes, chiefly of the magnolia family. 
We crossed in succession the heads of three branches of Haw 
Creek, of which the waters spread from a quarter to half a mile 
in breadth, and through which we made our way with extreme 
difficulty. While in the middle of one, my companion told me 
that once, when in the very spot where he then stood, his horse 
chanced to place his fore-feet on the back of a large alligator, 
which, not well pleased at being disturbed in his repose, sud- 
denly raised his head, opened his monstrous jaws, and snapped 
off a part of the lip of his affrighted pony. You may imagine 
the tetror of the poor beast, which, however, after a few plunges, 
resumed its course, and succeeded in carrying its rider through 
in safety. As a reward for this achievement it was ever after 
honoured with the appellation of ' Alligator.' 

"We had now travelled about twenty miles, and the sun 
having reached the zenith, we dismounted to partake of some 
re&eshment. From a muddy pool we contrived to obtain 
enough of tolerably clear water to mix with the contents of a 
bottle, the like of which I would strongly recommend to every 
traveller in these swampy regions. Our horses, too, found 
something to grind among the herbage that surrounded the 
little pool ; but as little time was to be lost, we quickly re- 
mounted and resumed our disagreeable journey, during which 
we had at no time proceeded at a rate exceeding two miles and 
a haK in the hour. All at once, however, a wonderful change 
took place ; the country became more elevated and undulating, 
the timber was of a different nature, and consisted of red and 
live oaks, magnolias, and several kinds of pine. Thousands of 


' mole-hills,' or the habitations of an animal here called the 
' salamander,' and Goffer's hurrows, presented themselves to the 
eye, and greatly annoyed our horses, which every now and then 
sank to the depth of a foot and stumbled, at the risk of break- 
ing their legs, and what we considered fully as valuable — our 
necks. We now saw beautiful lakes of the purest water, and 
passed along a green space having a series of them on each side 
of us. These sheets of water became larger and more numerous 
the farther we advanced, some of them extending to a length of 
several miles, and having a depth of from two to twenty feet of 
clear water ; but their shores being destitute of vegetation we 
observed no birds near them. Many tortoises, however, were 
seen basking in the sun, and all as we approached plunged into 
the water. Not a trace of man did we see during our journey, 
scarcely a bird, and not a single quadruped, not even a rat ; nor 
can one imagine a poorer and more desolate country than that 
.which lies between the Halifax Eiver, which we had left in the 
morning, and the undulated grounds at which we had now arrived. 

" But at length we perceived the tracks of living beings, and 
soon after saw the huts of Colonel Eees' negroes. Scarcely 
could ever African traveller have approached the city of Tim- 
buctoo with more excited curiosity than we felt in approaching 
this plantation. Our Indian horses seemed to participate in 
our joy, and trotted at a smart rate towards the principal build- 
ing, at the door of which we leaped from our saddles, just as the 
sun was withdrawing his ruddy light. Colonel Eees was at 
home, and received us with great kindness. Eefreshments were 
immediately placed before us, and we spent the evening in 
agreeable conversation. 

" The next day I walked over the plantation, examining the 
country around, and found the soil of good quality, it having 
been reclaimed from swampy ground, of a black colour, rich, 
and very productive. The greater part of the cultivated land 
was on the borders of a lake which communicated with others 
leading to St. John's Eiver, distant about seven miles, and 
navigable so far by vessels not exceeding iifty or sixty tons. 
,^fter breakfast our amiable host showed us the way to the cele- 
brated spring, the sight of which afforded me pleasure suflficient 
to counterbalance the tediousness of my journey. 



" This spring presents a circular basin, having a diameter of 
about sixty feet, from the centre of which the water is thrown 
up with great force, although it does not rise to a height of more 
than a few inches above the general level. A kind of whirl- 
pool is formed, on the edges of which are deposited vast quan- 
tities of shells, with pieces of wood, gravel, and other substances, 
which have coalesced into solid masses, having a very curious 
appearance. The water is quite transparent, although of a dark 
colour, but so impregnated with sulphur, that it emits an odour 
which to me was very disagreeable, and highly nauseous. Its 
surface lies fifteen or twenty feet below the level of the wood- 
land lakes in the neighbourhood, and its depth in the autumnal 
months is about seventeen feet when the water is lowest. In 
all the lakes the same species of shells as are thrown up by the 
spring occur in abundance ; and it seems more than probable 
that it is formed of the water collected from them by infil- 
tration, or forms the subterranean outlet of some of them. 
The lakes themselves are merely reservoirs containing the 
residue of the waters which fall during the rainy seasons, and 
contributing to supply the waters of the St. John's Eiver, with 
which they communicate by similar means. This spring pours 
its waters into 'Kees' Lake,' through a deep and broad channel 
called Spring Garden Creek. This channel is said to be in some 
places fully sixty feet deep, but it becomes more shallow as you 
advance towards the entrance of the lake, at which you are 
surprised to find yourself on a mud flat covered only by about 
fifteen inches of water, under which the depositions from the 
spring lie to a depth of four or five feet in the form of the 
softest mud, while under this again is a bed of fine white sand. 
When this mud is stirred up by the oars of your boat or other- 
wise, it appears of a dark-green colour, and smells strongly of 
sulphur. At all times it sends up numerous bubbles of air, 
which probably comes of sulphuretted hydrogen gas. The 
mouth of this curious spring is calculated to be two and a half 
feet square, and the velocity of its waters during the rainy 
season is three feet per second. This would render the discharge 
per hour about 499-500 gallons. 

" Colonel Rees showed us the remains of another spring of the 
same kind, which had dried up from some natural cause. 


" My companion the engineer having occupation for another 
day, I requested Colonel Eees to accompany me in his boat 
towards the river St. John, which 1 was desirous of seeing, as 
well as the curious country in its neighbourhood. He readily 
agreed, and after an early breakfast next morning, we set out, 
accompanied by two servants to manage the boat. As we 
crossed ' Kees' Lake ' I observed that its north-eastern shores 
were bounded by a deep swamp, covered by a rich growth of 
tall cypresses, while the opposite side presented large marshes 
and islands ornamented by pines, live oaks, and orange-trees. 

" With the exception of a very narrow channel, the creek was 
covered with nymphese, and in its waters swam numerous 
alligators, while ibises, gallinules, ankingas, coots, and cormorants 
were pursuing their avocations on its surface or along its 
margins. Over our heads the fish-hawks were sailing, and on 
the broken trees around we saw many of their nests. We 
followed Spring Garden Creek for about two miles and a half, 
and passed a mud-bar before we entered ' Dexter 's Lake.' The 
bar was stuck full of unios in such profusion, that each time the 
negroes thrust. their hands into the mud they took up several. 
According to their report these shell-fish are quite unfit for 
food. In this lake the water had changed its hue, and assumed 
a dark chestnut colour, although it was still transparent. 
The depth was uniformly five feet, and the extent of the lake 
was about eight mUes by three. Having crossed it, we followed 
the creek, and soon saw the entrance of ' Woodruff's Lake,' 
which empties its still darker waters into the St. John's Eiver. 
I here shot a pair of curious ibises, which you will find described 
in my fourth volume of ornithology, and landed on a small island 
covered with wild orange-trees, the luxuriance and freshness of 
which were not less pleasing to the sight than the perfume of 
their flowers was to the smell. The group seemed to mo like a 
rich bouquet formed by nature to afford consolation to the weary 
traveller cast down by the dismal scenery of swamps, and pools, 
and rank grass around him. Under the shade of these beautiful 
evergreens, and amidst the golden fruits that covered the ground, 
while the humming-birds fluttered over our heads, we spread 
our cloth on the grass, and, with a happy and thankful heart, 
I refreshed myself with the bountiful gifts of an ever-careful 

o 2 


Providence. Colonel Kees informed me that this charming 
retreat was one of the numerous terrcB incognitce of this region 
of lakes, and that it should henceforth bear the name of 
' Audubon's Isle.' 

" In conclusion, let me inform you that the spring has now 
been turned to good account by my generous host. Colonel Eees, 
who, aided by my amiable companion the engineer, has directed 
its current so as to turn a mill which suffices to grind the whole 
of his sugar-cane." 



FouETH Florida Episode: Deeb Huktinq. 

" The different modes of destroying deer are probably too well 
understood and too successfully practised in the United States ; 
for notwithstanding the almost incredible abundance of these 
beautiful animals in our forests and prairies, such havoc is 
carried on amongst them, that in a few centuries they will pro- 
bably be as scarce in America as the great bustard now is in 

" We have three modes of hunting deer, each Tarying in some 
slight degree in the different states and districts. The first is 
termed ' still hunting,' and is by far the most destructiYC. The 
second is called ' fire-light hunting,' and is next in its exter- 
minating effects. The third, which may be looked upon as a 
mere amusement, is named ' driving.' Although many deer 
are destroyed by this latter method, it is not by any means so 
pernicious as the others. These methods I shall describe sepa- 

" ' Still hunting ' is followed as a kind of trade by most 
of our frontier men. To be practised with success, it requires 
great activity, an expert management of the rifle, and a thorough 
knowledge of the forest, together with an intimate acquaintance 
with the habits of the deer, not only at different seasons of the 
year, but also at every hour of the day, as the hunter must be 
aware of the situations which the game prefers, and in which it 
is most likely to be found at any particular time. I might here 


present you with a full account of the habits of our deer, were 
it not my intention to lay before you, at some future period, in 
the form of a distinct work, the observations which I have made 
on the various quadrupeds of our extensive territories. 

"We shall suppose that we are now about to follow the 
true hunter, as the still hunter is also called, through the 
interior of the tangled woods, across morasses, ravines, and 
such places, where the game may prove more or less plenti- 
ful, even should none be found there in the first instance. 
We shall allow our hunter all the agility, patience, and care 
which his occupation requires, and will march in his rear, 
as if we were spies watching all his motions. His dress, you 
observe, consists of a leathern hunting-shirt, and a pair of 
trousers of the same material. His feet are well moccasined ; 
he wears a belt round his waist ; his heavy rifle is resting on 
his brawny shoulder; on one side hangs his ball-pouch, sur- 
mounted by the horn of an ancient buffalo, once the terror of 
the herd, but now containing a pound of the best gunpowder. 
His butcher-knife is scabbarded in the same strap ; and behind 
is a tomahawk, the handle of which has been thrust through 
his girdle. He walks with so rapid a step that probably few 
men besides ourselves, that is, myself and my kind reader, could 
follow him, unless for a short distance, in their anxiety to 
witness his ruthless deeds. He stops, looks at the flint of his 
gun, its priming, and the leather cover of the lock, then glances 
his eye towards the sky, to judge of the course most likely to 
lead him to the game. 

"The heavens are clear, the red glare of the sun gleams 
through the lower branches of the lofty trees, the dew hangs in 
pearly drops at the top of every leaf. Already has the emerald 
hue of the foliage been converted into the more glowing tints of 
our autumnal months, A slight frost appears on the fence 
rails of his little corn-field. 

" As he proceeds he looks to the dead foliage under his feet, in 
search of the well-known traces of a buck's hoof. Now he bends 
toward the ground, on which something has attracted his atten- 
tion. See, he alters his course, increases his speed, and will 
soon reach the opposite hill. Now he moves with caution, stops 
at almost every tree, and peeps forward, as if already within 


shooting distance of his game. He advances again ; but now 
very slowly. He has reached the declivity, upon which the 
sun shines in all its glowing splendour ; but mark him, he 
takes the gun from his shoulder, has already thrown aside the 
leather covering of the lock, and is wiping the edge of his flint 
•with his tongue. Now he stands like a monumental figure, 
perhaps measuring the distance that lies between him and 
the game which he has in view. His rifle is slowly raised, 
the report follows, and he runs. Let us run also. Shall I 
speak to him, and ask him the result of this first essay ? 
' Pray, friend, what have you killed ?' for to say, ' What 
have you shot at ?' might imply the possibility of his having 
missed, and so might hurt his feelings. ' Nothing but a 
buck.' ' And where is it ?' ' Oh, it has taken a jump 
or so, but I settled it, and will soon be with it. My ball 
struck, and must have gone through his heart.' We arrived 
at the spot where the animal had laid itself down on the 
grass, in a thicket of grape-vines, sumachs, and spruce-bushes, 
where it intended to repose during the middle of the day. 
The place is covered with blood, the hoofs of the deer have 
left deep prints in the ground, as it bounced in the agonies 
produced by its wound ; but the blood that lias gushed from 
its side discloses the course which it has taken. We soon reach 
the spot. There lies the buck, its tongue out, its eye dim, its 
breath exhausted ; it is dead. The hunter draws his knife, cuts 
the buck's throat almost asunder, and prepares to skin it. For 
this purpose he hangs it upon the branch of a tree. When the 
skin is removed, he cuts off the hams, and abandoning the rest 
of the carcass to the wolves and rultures, reloads his gun, flings 
the venison, enclosed by the skin, upon his back, secures it with 
a strap, and walks off in search of more game, well knowing 
that in the immediate neighbourhood another at least is to be 

" Had the weather been warmer, the hunter would have sought 
for the buck along the shadowy side of the hills. Had it been 
the spring season, he would hare led us through some thick 
cane brake, to the margin of some remote lake, where you would 
have seen the deer immersed to his head in the water, to save 
his body from the tormenting mosquitoes. Had winter over- 


spread the earth with a covering of snow, he would have 
searched the low, damp woods, where the mosses and lichens, on 
which at that period the deer feeds, abound, the trees being 
generally crusted with them for several feet from the ground. 
At one time he might have marked the places where the deer 
clears the velvet from his horns by rubbing them against the 
low stems of bushes, and where he frequently scrapes the earth 
with his fore-hoofs ; at another he would have betaken himself 
to places where percimons and crab-apples abound, as beneath 
these trees the deer frequently stops to munch their fruits. 
During early spring our hunter would imitate the bleating of 
the doe, and thus frequently obtain both her and the fawn ; or, 
like some tribes of Indians, he would prepare a deer's head, 
placed on a stick, and creeping with it amongst the tail grass of 
the prairies, would decoy the deer within reach of his rifle. 
But, kind reader, you have seen enough of the ' still hunter.' 
Let it suf&ce for me to add that, by the mode pursued by him, 
thousands of deer are annually killed, many individuals shooting 
these animals merely for the skins, not caring for even the most 
valuable portions of the flesh, unless hunger or a near market 
induces them to carry oflf the hams. 

"The mode of destroying deer by fire-light, or, as it is 
named in some parts of the country, forest-UgM, never fails 
to produce a very singular feeling in him who witnesses 
it for the first time. There is something in it which at 
times appears awfully grand. At other times a certain degree 
of fear creeps over the mind, and even affects the physical 
powers of him who follows the hunter through the thick under- 
growth of our woods, having to leap his horse over hundreds 
of huge fallen trunks, at one time impeded by a straggling 
grape-vine crossing his path, at another squeezed between two 
stubborn saplings, whilst their twigs come smack in his face, as 
his companion has forced his way through them. Again, he 
every now and then runs the risk of breaking his neck by being 
suddenly pitched headlong on the ground, as his horse sinks into 
a hole covered over with moss. But I must proceed in a more 
regular manner, and leave you, kind reader, to judge whether 
such a mode of hunting would suit your taste or not. 

' The hunter has returned to his camp or his house, has rested, 


and eaten his game. He bas procured a quantity of pine-knots 
filled with resinous matter, and has an old frying-pan, that, for 
aught I know to the contrary, may have been used by his great- 
grandmother, in which the pine-knots are to be placed when 
lighted. The horses stand saddled at the door. The hunter comes 
forth, his rifle slung on his shoulder, and springs upon one of 
them, while his son or a servant mounts the other, with the frying- 
pan and the pine-knots. Thus accoutred, they proceed towards 
the interior of the forest. When they have arrived at the spot 
where the hunt is to begin, they strike fire with a flint and steel, 
and kindle the resinous wood. The person who carries the fire 
moves in the direction judged to be the best. The blaze illu- 
minates the near objects, but the distant parts seem involved in 
deepest obscurity. 

" The hunter who bears the gun keeps immediately in front, 
and after a while discovers before him two feeble lights, which 
are produced by the reflection of the pine fire from the eyes of 
an animal of the deer or wolf kind. The animal stands quite 
still. To one unacquainted with this strange mode of hunting, 
the glare from its eyes might bring to his imagination some 
lost hobgobKn that had strayed from its usual haunts. The 
hunter, however, nowise intimidated, approaches the object, 
sometimes so near as to discern its form, when, raising the rifle 
to his shoulder, he fires and kills it on the spot. He then dis- 
mounts, secures the skin and such portions of the flesh as he 
may want, in the manner already described, and continues his 
search through the greater part of the night, sometimes to the 
dawn of day, shooting from five to ten deer, should these animals 
be plentiful. This kind of hunting proves fatal, not to the deer 
alone, but also sometimes to wolves, and now and then to a horse 
or a cow which may have strayed far into the woods. 

" Now, kind reader, prepare to mount a generous, full-blood 
Virginia hunter, see that your gun is in complete order, for 
hark to the sound of the bugle and horn, and the mingled 
clamour of a pack of harriers. Your friends are waiting you 
under the shade of the wood, and we must together go driving 
the light-footed deer. The distance over which one has to 
travel is seldom felt when pleasure is anticipated as the result, so 
galloping we go pell-mell tiirough the woods to some well-known 


place, where many a fine buck has drooped its antlers under 
the ball of the hunter's rifle. The servants, who are called the 
drivers, have already begun their search, their voices are heard 
exciting the hounds, and unless we put spurs to our steeds, we 
may be too late at our stand, and thus lose the first opportunity 
of shooting the fleeting game as it passes by. Hark again ! The 
dogs are in chase, the horn sounds louder and more clearly. 
Hurry, hurry on ! or we shall be sadly behind. Here we are 
at last ; dismount, fasten your horse to this tree, place yourself 
by the side of that large yellow poplar, and mind you do not 
shoot me. The deer is fast approaching ; I will to my own 
stand, and he who shoots him dead wins the prize. The deer 
is heard coming ; it has inadvertently cracked a dead stick with 
its hoof, and the dogs are now so near it that it will pass in a 
moment. There it comes! How beautifully it bounds over 
the ground ! What a splendid head of horns ! How easy the 
attitudes, depending, as it seems to do, on its own swiftness for 
safety ! All is in vain, however ; a gun is fired, the animal 
plunges, and doubles with incomparable speed. There he goes, 
he passes another stand, from which a second shot, better directed 
than the first, brings him to the ground. The dogs, the servants, 
the sportsmen, are now rushing forward to the spot. The 
hunter who has shot it is congratulated on his skill or good 
luck, and the chase begins again in some other part of the 

" A few lines of explanation may be required to convey a clear 
idea of this mode of hunting. Deer are fond of following and re- 
tracing the paths which they have formerly used, and continue to 
do so even after they have been shot at more than once. Their 
tracks are discovered by persons on horseback in the woods, or 
a deer is observed crossing a road, a field, or a small stream. 
When this has been noticed twice, the deer may be shot from 
the places called stamds by the sportsman, who is stationed 
there and waits for it, a line of stands being generally formed 
so as to cross the path which the game will follow. The person 
who ascertains the usual pass of the game, or discovers the parts 
where the animal feeds or lies down during the day, gives inti- 
mation to his friends, who then prepare for the chase. The 
servants start the deer with the hounds, and, by good manage- 


ment, generally succeed in making it run the course that will 
soonest bring it to its death. But should the deer be cautious, 
and take another course, the hunters, mounted on swift horses, 
gallop through the woods to intercept it, guided by the sound 
of the horns and the cry of the dogs, and frequently succeed in 
shooting it. This sport is extremely agreeable, and proves suc- 
cessful on almost every occasion." 



Fifth Florida Episode : Sandy Island. 

" I LEFT you abruptly, perhaps uncivilly, reader, at the dawn of 
day on Sandy Island, which lies just six miles from the extreme 
point of South Florida. I did so because I was amazed at the 
appearance of things around me, which, in fact, looked so dif- 
ferient then from what they seemed at night, that it took some 
minutes' reflection to account for the change. When we laid 
ourselves down on the sand to sleep, the waters almost bathed 
our feet ; when we opened our eyes in the morning, they were 
at an immense distance. Our boat lay on her side, looking not 
unlike a whale reposing on a mud-bank ; the birds in myriads 
were probing their pasture-ground. There great flocks of ibises 
fed apart from equally large collections of ' godwits,' and thou- 
sands of herons gracefully paced along, ever and anon thrusting 
their javelin bills into the body of some unfortunate fish con- 
fined in a small pool of water. Of fish-crows I could not estimate 
the number, but from the havoc they made among the crabs, 
I conjecture that these animals must have been scarce by the 
time of next ebb. Frigate pelicans chased the jager, which 
himself had just robbed a poor gull of its prize ; and all the 
gallinules ran with spread wings from the mud-banks to the 
thickets of the island, so timorous had they become when they 
perceived us. Surrounded as we were by so many objects that 
allured us, not one could we yet attain, so dangerous would it 
have been to venture on the mud ; and our pilot having assured 


US that nothing could be lost by waiting, spoke of our eating, 
and on this hint told that he would take us to a part of the 
island where ' our breakfast would be abundant, although un- 
cooked.' Off we went, some of the sailors carrying baskets, 
others large tin pans and wooden vessels such as they use for 
eating their meals in. Entering a thicket of about an acre in 
extent, we found on every bush several nests of the ibis, each 
containing three large and beautiful eggs, and all hands fell to 
gathering. The birds gave way to us, and ere long we had a 
heap of eggs, that promised delicious food. Nor did we stand 
long in expectation ; for, kindling a fire, we soon prepared, in 
one way or other, enough to satisfy the cravings of our hungry 
maws. Breakfast ended, the pilot, looking at the gorgeous 
sunrise, said, ' Gentlemen, prepare yourselves for fun ; the tide 
is a-coming.' Over these mud flats a foot or two of water is 
quite sufficient to drive all the birds ashore, even the tallest 
heron or flamingo ; and the tide seems to flow at once over the 
whole expanse. Each of us, provided with a gun, posted himself 
behind a bush, and no sooner had_ the water forced the winged 
creatures to approach the shore, than the work of destruction 
commenced. When it at length ceased, the collected mass of 
birds of different kinds looked not unlike a small haycock. 
Who could not with a little industry have helped himself to 
a few of their skins ? Why, reader, surely no one as fond of 
these things as 1 am. Every one assisted in this, and even the 
sailors themselves tried their hand at the work. Our pilot, 
good man, told us he was no hand at such occupations, and 
would go after something else. So taking ' Long Tom ' and his 
fishing-tackle, he marched off quietly along the shores. About 
an hour afterwards we saw him returning, when he looked 
quite exhausted ; and on our inquiring the cause, said, ' There 
is a dew -fish yonder, and a few balacoudas, but I am not able 
to bring them, or even to haul them here ; please send the 
sailors after them.' The fishes were accordingly brought, and 
as I had never seen a ' dew-fish,' I examined it closely, and 
took an outline of its form, which some days hence you may 
perhaps see. It exceeded a hundred pounds in weight, and 
afforded excellent eating. The balacouda is also a good fish, 
but at times a dangerous one, for, according to the pilots on 


more than one occasion 'some of these gentry' had followed 
him, when waist-deep in the water in pursuit of a more valuable 
prize, until in self-defence he had to spear them, fearing that 
the ' gentleman ' might at one dart cut off his legs, or some 
other nice bit with which he was unwilling to part. Having 
filled our cask from a fine well, long since dug in the sand of 
Cape Sable, either by Seminole Indians or pirates, no matter 
which, we left Sandy Isle about full tide, and proceeded home- 
wards, giving a call here and there at different keys, with the 
view of procuring rare birds, and also their nests and eggs. We 
had twenty miles to go ' as the birds fly,' but the tortuosity of 
the channels rendered our course fully a third longer. The sun 
was descending fast, when a black cloud suddenly obscured the 
majestic orb. Our sails swelled by a breeze that was scarcely 
felt by us, and the pilot, requesting us to sit on the weather 
gunwale, told us that we were ' going to get it.' One sail was 
hauled in and secured, and the other was reefed, although the 
wind had not increased. A low murmuring noise was heard, 
and across the cloud that now rolled along in tumultuous masses 
shot vivid flashes of lightning. Our experienced guide steered 
directly across a flat towards the nearest land. The sailors 
passed their quids from one cheek to the other, and our pilot 
having covered himself with his oil jacket, we followed his 
example. ' Blow, sweet breeze,' cried he at the tiller, ' and we'll 
reach land before the blast overtakes us ; for, gentlemen, it is a 
furious cloud yon.' A furious cloud indeed was the one which 
now, like an eagle on outstretched wings, approached so swiftly, 
that one might have deemed it in haste to destroy us. We 
were not more than a cable's length from the shore, when with 
imperative voice the pilot calmly said to us, ' Sit quite still, 
gentlemen, for I should not like to lose you overboard just now ; 
the boat can't upset, my word for that, if you will but sit still ; 
here we have it !' Reader, persons who have never witnessed 
a hurricane, such as not unfrequently desolates the sultry 
climates of the south, can scarcely form an idea of their terrific 
grandeur. One would think that, not content with laying waste 
all on land, it must needs sweep the waters of the shallows quite 
dry to quench its thirst. No respite for a moment does it 
afford to the objects within the reach of its furious cuiTcnt. 


Like the scythe of the destroying angel, it cuts everything by 
the roots, as it were, with the careless ease of the experienced 
mower. Each of its revolving sweeps collects a heap that 
might be likened to the fuU sheaf which the husbandman flings 
by his side. On it goes, with a wildness and fury that are 
indescribable ; and when at last its frightful blasts have ceased, 
nature, weeping and disconsolate, is left bereaved of her beauti- 
ful offspring. In instances, even a full century is required 
before, with all her powerful energies, she can repair her loss. 
The planter has not only lost his mansion, his crops, and his 
flocks, but he has to clear his lands anew, covered and entangled 
as they are with the trunks and branches of trees, that are 
everywhere strewn. The bark overtaken by the storm is cast 
on the lee-shore, and if any are left to witness the fatal results 
they are the ' wreckers ' alone, who, with inward delight, gaze 
upon the melancholy spectacle. Our light bark shivered like a 
leaf the instant the blast reached her sides. We thought she 
had gone over ; but the next instant she was on the shore, and 
now, in contemplation of the sublime and awful storm, I gazed 
around me. The waters drifted like snow ; the tough mangroves 
hid their tops amid their roots, and the loud roaring of the 
waves driven among them blended with the howl of the tempest. 
It was not rain that fell ; the masses of water flew in a hori- 
zontal direction, and where a part of my body was exposed, I 
felt as if a smart blow had been given me on it. But enough : 
in half an hour it was over. The pure blue sky once more 
embellished the heavens, and although it was now quite night, 
we considered our situation a good one. The crew and some of 
the party spent the night on board ; the pilot, myself, and one of 
my assistants took to the heart of the mangroves, and having 
found high land, we made a fire as well as we could, spread a 
tarpaulin, and fixing our insect-bars over us, soon forgot in sleep 
the horrors that had surrounded us. Next day the Marion pro- 
ceeded on her cruize, and in a few more days, having anchored 
in another safe harbour, we visited other keys, of which I will, 
with your leave, give you a short account. 

" The deputy collector of Indian Isle gave me the use of his 
pilot for a few weeks, and I was the more gratified by this, that 
besides knowing him to be a good man and a perfect sailor, I 


was now convinced that he possessed a great knowledge of the 
habits of birds, and could without loss of time lead me to their 
haunts. We were a hundred miles or so farther to the south. 
Gay May, like a playful babe, gambolled on the bosom of his 
mother nature, and everything was replete with life and joy. 
The pilot had spoken to me of some birds which I was very 
desirous of obtaining. One morning, therefore, we went in two 
boats to some distant isle, where they were said to breed. Our 
difficulties in reaching that key might to some seem more ima- 
ginary than real, were I faithfully to describe them. Suffice it 
for me to tell you that, after hauling our boats and pushing 
them with our hands for upwards of nine miles over the ilats, 
we at last reached the deep channel that usually surrounds each 
of the mangrove isles. We were much exhausted by the labour 
and excessive heat, but we were now floating on deep water, 
and by resting under the shade of some mangroves, we were 
soon refreshed by the breeze that gently blew from the gulf. 

" The heron which I have named ' Ardea occidentalis ' was 
seen moving majestically in great numbers, the tide rose 
and drove them away, and as they came towards us, to alight 
and rest for a while on the tallest trees, we shot as many as I 
wished. I also took under my charge several of their young 
alive. At another time we visited the ' Mule Keys ;' there the 
prospect was in many respects dismal enough. As I followed 
their shores, I saw bales of cotton floating in all the coves, while 
spars of every description lay on the beach, and far oif on the 
reefs I could see the last remains of a lost ship, her dismasted 
hulk. Several schooners were around her ; they were ' wreckers.' 
I turned me from the sight with a heavy heart. Indeed, as I 
slowly proceeded, I dreaded to meet the floating or caslrashore 
bodies of some of the unfortunate crew. Our visit to the ' Mule 
Keys ' was in no way profitable, for besides meeting with but a 
few birds, in two or three instances I was, while swimming in 
the deep channel of a mangrove isle, much nearer a large shark 
than I wish ever to be again." 


Sixth Flobida Episode : The Webokees of Ploeida, 

" LoifG before I reached the lovely islets that border the south- 
eastern shores of the Floridas, the accounts I had heard of 
* The Wreckers ' had deeply prejudiced me against them. Often 
had I been informed of the cruel and cowardly methods which 
it was alleged they employed to allure vessels of all nations to 
the dreaded reefs, that they might plunder their cargoes, and 
rob their crews and passengers of their effects. I therefore 
could have little desire to meet with such men under any 
circumstances, much less to become liable to receive their aid ; 
and with the name of ' wrecker ' there were associated in my 
mind ideas of piratical depredation, barbarous usage, and even 
murder. One fair afternoon, whUe I was standing on the 
polished deck of the United States revenue cutter, the Marion, 
a sail hove in sight, bearing in an opposite course, close-hauled 
to the wind. The gentle sway of her masts, as she rocked to 
and fro in the breeze, brought to my mind the wavings of the 
reeds on the fertile banks of the Mississippi. By and by tho 
vessel, altering her course, approached us. The Marion, like a 
sea bird with extended wings, swept through the waters, gently 
inclining to either side, while the unknown vessel leaped as it 
were from wave to wave, like the dolphin in eager pursuit of 
his prey. In a short time we were gliding side by side, and the 
commander of the strange schooner saluted our captain, who 
promptly returned the compliment. What a beautiful vessel. 


we all thought, how trim, how clean rigged, and how well 
manned. She swims like a duck, and now, with a broad sheer, 
off she makes for the reefs, a few miles under our lee. There 
in that narrow passage, weU known to her commander, she 
rolls, tumbles, and dances like a giddy thing, her copper sheathing 
now gleaming, and again disappearing under the waves. But 
the passage is made, and now, hauling on the wind, she resumes 
her former course, and gradually recedes from the view. 
Eeader, it was a Florida wrecker. When at the Tortugas, I 
paid a visit to several vessels of this kind, in company with my 
friend Kobert Day, Esq. We had observed the regularity and 
quickness of the men then employed at their arduous tasks, and 
as we approached the largest schooner,. I admired her form, so 
well adapted to her occupation, her great breadth of beam, her 
light draught, the correctness of her water line, the neatness of 
her painted sides, the smoothness of her well-greased masts, and 
the beauty of her rigging. We were welcomed on board with 
all the frankness of our native tars. Silence and order pre- 
vailed on her decks. The commander and the second officer 
led us into a spacious cabin, well lighted, and furnished with 
every convenience for fifteen or more passengers. The former 
brought me his collection of marine shells, and whenever I 
pointed to one that I had not seen before, offered it with so 
much kindness, that I found it necessary to be careful in ex- 
pressing my admiration of any particular shell. He had also 
many eggs of rare birds, which were all handed over to me, 
with an assurance thatjbefore the month should expire a new 
set could easily be procured ; for, said he, ' we have much idle 
time on the reefs at this season.' Dinner was served, and we 
partook of their fare, which consisted of fish, fowl, and other 
materials. These rovers were both from down east, were stout 
active men, cleanly and smart in their attire. In a short time 
we were all extremely social and merry. They thought my visit 
to the Tortugas in quest of birds was rather a curious fancy, 
but notwithstanding, they expressed their pleasure while looking 
at some of my drawings, and offered their services in procuring 
specimens. Expeditions far and near were proposed, and on 
settling that one of them was to take place on the morrow, we 
parted friends. Early next morning several of these kind men 


accompanied me to. a small key called Booby Island, about ten 
miles distant from the lighthouse. Their boats were well 
manned, and rowed with long and steady strokes, such as 
whalers and men-of-war's men are wont to draw. The captain 
sang, and at times, by way of frolic, ran a race with our own 
beautiful bark. The Booby Isle was soon reached, and our 
Sport there was equal to any we had elsewhere. They were 
capital shots, had excellent guns, and knew more about boobies 
and noddies than nine-tenths of the best naturalists iu the 

" But what will you say when I tell you that the ' Florida 
wreckers' are excellent at a deer hunt, and that at certain 
seasons, 'when business is slack,' they are wont to land on 
some extensive key, and in a few hours procure a supply of 
delicious venison. Some days after the same party took me on 
an expedition in quest of sea shells. There we were all in the 
water at times to the waist, and now and then much deeper. 
Now they would dip like ducks, and on emerging would hold 
up a beautiful shell. This occupation they seemed to enjoy 
above all others. The duties of the Marion having been per- 
formed, intimation of our intended departures reached the 
wreckers. An invitation was sent me to go and see them on 
board their vessel, which I accepted. Their object on this 
occasion was to present me with some superb corals, shells, live 
turtles of the hawk-billed species, and a great quantity of eggs. 
Not a picayune would they receive in return, but putting some 
letters in my hands, requested me to be? so good as to put them 
in the mail at Charleston, adding that they were for their 
wives down east. So anxious did they appear to be to do all 
they could for me, that they proposed to sail before the 
Marion, and meet her under weigh, to give me some birds that 
were rare on the coast, and of which they knew the haunts. 
Circumstances connected with the service prevented this how- 
ever, and with sincere regret, and a good portion of friendship, 
I bade these excellent fellows adieu. How different, thought I, 
is often the knowledge of things acquired from personal obser- 
vation, from that obtained by report. I had never before seen 
Florida wreckers, nor has it since been my fortune to fall in 
with any ; but my good friend Dr. Benjamin Strobel, having 

p 2 


furnished me with a graphic account of a few days he spent 
with them, I shall present you with it in his own words. 

" ' On the 12th day of September, while lying in harbour at 
Indian Key, we were joined by five wrecking vessels. Their 
licenses having expired, it was necessary to go to Key West, to 
renew them. We determined to accompany tliem the next 
morning, and here it will not be amiss for me to say a few words 
respecting these far-famed wreckers, their captains and crews. 
From all that I had heard, I expected to see a parcel of dirty, 
pirate-looking vessels, officered and manned by a set of black- 
whiskered fellows, who carried murder in their very looks. I 
was agreeably surprised on discovering that the vessels were 
iine large sloops and schooners, regular clippers, kept in first- 
rate order. The captains generally were jovial, good-humoured 
sons of Neptune, who manifested a disposition to be polite and 
hospitable, and to afford every facility to persons passing up 
and down the reefs. The crews were hearty, well-dressed, and 
honest-looking men. On the 18th, at the appointed hour, we 
all set sail together, that is, the five wreckers and the schooner 
Jane. As our vessel was not noted for fast sailing, we accepted 
an invitation to gO on board of a wrecker. The fleet got under 
weigh about eight o'clock in the morning, the wind light but 
fair, the water smooth, and the day fine. I can scarcely find 
words to express the pleasure and gratification which I this day 
experienced. The sea was of a beautiful, soft, pea-green colour, 
smooth as a sheet of glass, and as transparent, its surface 
agitated only by our vessels as they parted its bosom, or by the 
pelican in pursuit of his prey, which, rising for a considerable 
distance in the air, would suddenly plunge down with distended 
mandibles, and secure his food. The vessels of our little fleet, 
with every sail set that could catch a breeze, and the white 
foam curling round the prows, glided silently along, like islands 
of flitting shadows, on an immovable sea of light. Several 
fathoms below the surface of the water, and under us, we 
saw great quantities of fish diving and sporting amongst the 
sea grass, sponges, sea feathers, and corals, with which the 
bottom was covered. On our right hand the Florida Keys, 
as we made them in the distance, looked like specks upon the 
water, but as we neared them, rose to view as if by enchantment, 


clad in the richest livery of spring, each yariety of colour and 
hue rendered soft and delicate by a clear sky and brilliant sun 
overhead. All was like a fairy scene ; my heart leaped up in 
delighted admiration, and I could not but exclaim, in the 
language of Scott, 

Those seas Ijehold, 

Round thrice an hundred islands rolled. 

The trade winds played around us with balmy and refreshing 
sweetness ; and to give life and animation to the scene, we had a 
contest for the mastery between all the vessels of the fleet, while 
a deep interest was excited in this or that vessel, as she shot 
ahead or fell astern. About three o'clock of the afternoon we 
arrived off the Bay of Honda. The wind being light, and no 
prospect of i caching Key West that night, it was agreed we should 
make a harbour here. We entered a beautiful basin, and came 
to anchor about four o'clock. Boats were launched, and several 
hunting parties formed. We landed, and werg soon on the 
scent, some going in search of shells, others of birds. An 
Indian who had been picked up somewhere along the coast by- 
some wrecker, and who was employed as a hunter, was sent on 
shore in search of venison. Previous to his leaving the vessel 
a rifle was loaded with a single ball, and put into his hands. 
After an absence of several hours he returned with two deer, 
which he had killed at a single shot. He watched until they 
were both in range of his gun, side by side, when he fired and 
brought them down. All hands having* returned, and the fruits 
of our excursion being collected, we had wherewitlial to make 
an abundant supper. Most of the game was sent on board of 
the larger vessel, where we proposed supping. Our vessels 
were all lying within hail of each other, and as soon as the 
moon arose, boats were seen passing from one to the other, and 
all were busily and happily engaged in exchanging civilities. 
One would never have' supposed that these men were pro- 
fessional rivals, so apparent was the good feeling that prevailed 
amongst them. About nine o'clock we started for supper. A 
number of persons had already collected, and as soon as we 
arrived on board the vessel, a German sailor, who played 
remarkably well on the violin, was summoned to the quarter- 


deck, when all hands with a good will cheerily danced to lively 
airs until supper was ready. The table was laid in the cabin, 
and groaned under its load of venison, wild ducks, pigeons, 
curlews, and fish. Toasting and singing succeeded the supper, 
and among other curious matters introduced, the following song 
was sung by the German fiddler, who accompanied his voice 
with his instrument. He was said to be the author of the song. 
1 say nothing of the poetry, but merely give it as it came on 
my ear. It is certainly very characteristic. 


Come all ye good people one and all, 

Come listen to my song ; 
A few remarks I have to make, 

Which won't be very long. 
'Tis of our vessel, stout and goot. 
As ever yet was built of woot; 
Along the- reef where the breakers roar, 
De wreckers on de Florida shore. 

Key Tavernier's our rendezvous. 

At anchor there we lie ; 
And see the vessels in the Gulf 

Carelessly passing by. 
When night comes on we dance and sing. 
Whilst the current some vessel is floating in ; 
When daylight comes, a ship's on shore, 
Among de rocks where de breakers roar. 

When daylight dawns we're under weigh. 

And every sail is set ; 
And if the wind it should prove light. 

Why then our sails we wet. 
To gain her first each eager strives. 
To save de cargo and de people's lives ; 
Amongst de rooks, where de breakers roar, 
De wreckers on the Florida shore. 

When we get 'longside, we find she's bilged. 

We know veil vat to do; 
Save de cargo dat we can, 

De sails and rigging too. 
Den down to Key West we soon vill go, 
When quickly our salvage we shall know ; 
When every ting it is fairly sold. 
Our monffir down to us it is told. 


Den one week's cruise we'll have on shore, 

Before we do sail again ; 
And drink success to the sailor lads 

Dat are ploughing of de main. 
And when you are passing by this way, 
On the Florida Reef should you chance to stray, 
Why, we will come to you on the shore. 
Amongst de rocks where de breakers roar. 

"'Great emphasis was laid upon particular words by the 
singer, who had a broad German accent. Between the verses 
he played a symphony, remarking, " Gentlemens, I makes dat 
myself." The chorus was trolled by twenty or thirty voices, 
which in the stillness ot the night produced no unpleasant 



Seventh Florida Bptsodb: The Tuetlbrs of Florida. 

" The Torttigas are a group of islands lying about eighty miles 
from Key West, and the last of those that seem to defend the 
peninsula of the Floridas. They consist of five or six extremely 
low uninhabitable banks, formed of shelly sand, and are resorted 
to principally by that class of men called wreckers and turtlers. 
Between these islands are deep channels, which although 
extremely intricate, are well known to those adventurers, as 
well as to the commanders of the revenue cutters whose duties 
call them, to that dangerous coast. The great coral reef or wall 
lies about eight miles from these inhospitable isles, in the 
direction of the Gulf, and on it many an ignorant or careless 
navigator has suffered shipwreck. The whole ground around 
them is densely covered with corals, sea fans, and other pro- 
ductions of the deep, amid which crawl innumerable testaceous 
animals; while shoals of curious and beautiful fishes fill the 
limpid waters above them. Turtles of different species resort 
to these banks, to deposit their eggs in the burning sand, and 
clouds of sea fowl arrive every spring for the same purpose. 
These are followed by persons called ' eggers,' who, when their 
cargoes are completed, sail to distant markets to exchange their 
ill-gotten ware for a portion of that gold on the acquisition of 
which aU men seem bent. 

"The Marion having occasion to visit the Tortugas, I 
gladly embraced the opportunity of seeing those celebrated 


islets. A few hours before sunset the joyful cry of ' land ' 
announced* our approach to them, but as the breeze was 
fresh, and the pilot was well acquainted with all the windings 
of the channels, we held on, and dropped anchor before 
twihght. If you have never seen the sun setting in those 
latitudes, I would recommend you to make a voyage for 
the purpose, for 1 much doubt if, in any other portion of the 
world, the departure of the orb of day is accompanied with 
such gorgeous appearances. Look at the great red disc, 
increased to triple its ordinary dimensions. Now it has partially 
sunk beneath the distant line of waters, and with its still 
remaining half irradiates the whole heavens with a flood of 
light, purpling the far-off clouds that hover over the western 
horizon. A blaze of refulgent glory streams through the 
portals of the west, and the masses of vapour assume the 
semblance of mountains of molten gold. But the sun has now 
disappeared, and from the east slowly advances the grey curtain 
which night draws over the world. The night-hawk is flapping 
his noiseless wings in the gentle sea breeze ; the terns, safely 
landed, have settled on their nests ; the frigate pelicaus are 
seen wending their way to distant mangroves ; and the brown 
gannet, in search of a resting-place, has perched on the yard of 
the vessel. Slowly advancing landward, their heads alone above 
the water, are observed the heavily-laden turtles, anxious to 
deposit their eggs in the well-known sands. On the surface of 
the gently rippling stream I dimly see their broad forms as they 
toil along, while at intervals may be heard their hurried 
breathings, indicative of suspicion and fear. The moon with 
her silvery light now illumines the scene, and the turtle having 
landed, slowly and laboriously drags her heavy body over the 
sand, her ' flappers ' being better adapted for motion in water 
than on the shore. Up the slope however she works her way, 
and see how industriously she removes the sand beneath her, 
casting it out on either side. Layer after layer she deposits her 
eggs, arranging them in the most careful manner, and with her 
hind paddles brings the sand over them. The business is 
accomplished, the spot is covered over, and with a joyful heart 
the turtle swiftly retires toward the shore and launches into 
the deep. 


"But the Tortugas are not the only breeding-places of 
the turtle : these animals, on the contrary, frequent many other 
keys as well as various parts of the coast of the mainland. 
There are four different species, which are known by the names 
of the green turtle, the hawk-billed turtle, the logger-head turtle, 
and the trunk turtle. The first is considered the best as an 
article of food, in which capacity it is well known to most 
epicures. It approaches the shores, and enters the bays, inlets, 
and rivers, early in the month of April, after having spent the 
winters in the deep waters. It deposits its eggs in convenient 
places, at two different times, in May, and once again in June. 
The first deposit is the largest, and the last the least, the total 
quantity being at an average about two hundred and forty. 
The hawk-billed turtle, whose shell is so valuable as an article 
of commerce, being used for various purposes in the arts, is the 
next with respect to the quality of its flesh. It resorts to the 
outer keys only, where it deposits its eggs in two sets, first in 
July and again in August, although it crawls the beaches much 
earlier in the season, as if to look for a safe place. The average 
number of its eggs is about three hundred. The logger-head 
visits the Tortugas in April, and lays from that period until 
late in June three sets of eggs, each set averaging a hundred 
and seventy. The trunk turtle, which is sometimes of an 
enormous size, and which has a pouch like a pelican, reaches 
the shores latest. The shell and fish are so soft that one may 
push the finger into them almost as into a lump of butter. 
This species is therefore considered as the least valuable, and 
indeed is seldom eaten, unless by the Indians, who ever alert 
when the turtle season commences, first carry off the eggs 
which it lays in the season, and afterwards catch the turtles 
themselves. The average number of eggs which it lays at two 
sets may be three hundred and fifty. 

" The logger-head and the trunk turtles are the least cautious 
in choosing the places in which to deposit their eggs, whereas 
the two other species select the wildest and most secluded spots. 
The green turtle resorts either to the shores of the Maine, 
between Cape Sable and Cape Florida, or enters Indian, Halifax, 
and other large rivers or inlets, from which it makes its retreat 
as speedily as possible, and betakes itself to the open sea. 


Great numbers, however, are killed by the turtlers and Indians, 
as well as by Tarious species of carnivorous animals, as cougars, 
lynxes, bears, and wolves. The hawk-bill, which is still more 
wary, and is always the most difficult to surprise, keeps to the 
sea islands. AU the species employ nearly the same method 
in depositing their eggs in the sand, and as I have several times 
observed them in the act, I am enabled to present you with a 
circumstantial account of them. 

" On first nearing the shores, and mostly on fine calm moon- 
light nights, the turtle raises her head above the water, being 
still distant thirty or forty yards from the beach, looks around 
•her, and attentively examines the objects on the shore. Should 
she observe nothing likely on the shore to disturb her intended 
. operations, she emits a loud hissing sound, by which such of her 
enemies as are unaccustomed to it are startled, and so are apt 
to remove to another place, although unseen by her. Should 
she hear any noise, or perceive indications of danger, she 
instantly sinks and goes off to a considerable distance; but 
should everything be quiet, she advances slowly towards the 
beach, crawls over it, her head raised to the full stretch of her 
neck, and when she has reached a place fitted for her purpose 
she gazes aU round in silence. Finding ' all well,' she pro- 
ceeds to form a hole in the sand, which she effects by removing 
it from under her body with her hind flappers, scooping It out 
with so much dexterity that the sides seldom if ever fall in. 
The sand is raised alternately with each flapper, as with a large 
ladle, until it has accumulated behind her, when supporting 
herself with her head and fore part on the ground fronting her 
body, she, with a spring from each flapper, sends the sand 
around her, scattering it to the distance of several feet. In 
this manner the hole is dug to the depth of eighteen inches, or 
sometimes more than two feet. This labour I have seen per- 
formed in the short period of nine minutes. The eggs are then 
dropped one by one, and disposed in regular layers to the 
number of a hundred and fifty, or sometimes two hundred. The 
whole time spent in this part of the operation may be about 
twenty minutes. She now scrapes the loose sand back over the 
eggs, and so levels them and smooths the surface, that few 
persons on seeing the spot could imagine anything had been 


done to it. This accomplished to her inind, she retreats to the 
water with all possible despatch, leaving the hatching of the 
eggs to the heat of the sand. When a turtle, a logger-head for 
example, is in the act of dropping her egg, she will not move, 
although one should go up to her, or even seat himself on her 
back, for it seems that at this moment she finds it necessary to 
proceed at all events, and is unable to intermit her labour. 
The moment it is finished, however, off she starts, nor would it 
then be possible for one, unless he were as strong as Hercules, to 
turn her over and secure her. To upset a turtle on the shore 
one is obliged to fall on his knees, and placing his shoulder 
behiud her fore-arm, gradually raise her up by pushing with 
great force, and then with a jerk throw her over. Sometimes it 
requires the united strength of several men to accomplish this, 
and if the turtle should be of very great size, as often happens 
on that coast, even handspikes are employed. Some turliers 
are so daring as to swim up to them while lying asleep on the 
surface of the water, and turn them over in their own element, 
when, however, a boat must be at hand to enable them to secure 
their prize. Few turtles can bite beyond the reach of their 
fore-legs, and few when they are once turned over, can, without 
assistance, regain their natural position. But notwithstanding 
this, their flappers are generally secured by ropes, so as to 
render their escape impossible. Persons who search for turtle 
eggs are provided with a light stiff cane or gun-rod, with which 
they go along the shores, probing the sand near the tracks of 
the animal, which, however, cannot always be seen on account 
of the winds and heavy rains that often obliterate them. The 
nests are discovered not only by men but also by beasts of prey, 
and the eggs are collected or destroyed on the spot in great 

" On certain parts of the shore hundreds of turtles are known 
to deposit their eggs within the space of a mile. They form a 
new hole each time they lay, and the second is generally dug 
near the first, as if the animal were quite unconscious of what 
had befallen it. It will readily be understood that the numerous 
eggs seen in a turtle on cutting it up could not be all laid 
the same season. The whole number deposited by an individual 
in one summer may amount to four hundred ; whereas if the 


animal be caught on or near her nest, as I have witnessed, the re- 
maining eggs, all small, without shells, and as it were threaded 
like so many beads, exceed three thousand. In an instance 
where I found that number, the turtle weighed nearly four 
hundred pounds. 

" The young, soon after being hatched, and when yet scarcely 
larger than a dollar, scratch their way through their sandy 
covering, and immediately betake themselves to the water. 
The food of the green turtle consists chiefly of marine plants, 
more especially the grass-wrack (Zo'stera marina), which they cut 
near the roots, to procure the most tender and succulent parts. 
Their feeding-grounds, as I have elsewhere said, are easily dis- 
covered by floating masses of these plants on the flats or along 
the shores to which they resort. The hawk-billed species feeds 
on seaweeds, crabs, and various kinds of shell-fish and fishes ; 
the logger-head mostly on the fish of conch-shells, of large size, 
which they are enabled, by means of their powerful beak, to 
crush to pieces with apparently as much ease as a man cracks 
a walnut. One which was brought on board the Marion, and 
placed near the fluke of one of her anchors, made a deep in- 
dentation ia that hammered piece of iron that quite surprised me. 
The trunk-turtle feeds on moUusca, fish, Crustacea, sea-urchins, 
and various marine plants. All the species move through the 
water with surprising speed ; but the green and hawk-billed in 
particular remind you by their celerity, and the ease of their 
motions, of the progress of a bird in the air. It is therefore no 
easy matter to strike one with a spear, and yet this is often 
done by an accomplished turtler. While at Key West and 
other islands on the coast, where I made the observations here 
presented to you, I chanced to have need to purchase some 
turtles to feed my friends on board the Lady of the Green 
Mantle — not my friends, her gallant officers, or the brave tars 
who formed her crew, for all of theiri had already been satiated 
with turtle soup ; but my friends the herons, of which I had a 
goodly number in coops, intending to carry them to John Bach- 
man of Charleston, and other persons for whom I felt a sincere 
regard. So I went to a ' crawl,' accompanied by Dr. Benjamin 
Strobel, to inquire about prices, when to my surprise I found 
the smaller the turtles, ' above ten pounds weight,' the dearer 


they were, and that I could have purchased one of the logger- 
head kind, that weighed more than seven hundred pounds, for 
little more money than another of only thirty pounds. 

" While I gazed on the turtle I thought of the soups the con- 
tents of its shell would have furnished for a lord-mayor's dinner, 
of the numerous eggs which its swollen body contained, and of 
the curious carriage which might be made of its shell — a car in 
which Venus herself might sail over the Caribbean Sea, pro- 
vided her tender doves lent their aid in drawing the divinity, 
and provided no shark or hurricane came to upset it. The 
turtler assured me that, although the great monster was in 
fact better meat than any other of a less size, there was no 
disposing of it, unless indeed it had been in his power to have 
sent it to some very distant market. I would willingly have 
purchased it, but I knew that if killed the flesh could not keep 
much longer than a day, and on that account I bought eight or 
ten small ones, which ' my friends ' really relished exceedingly, 
and which served to support them for a long time. Turtles 
such as I have spoken of are caught in various ways on the 
coasts of the Floridas, or in estuaries or rivers. Some turtlers 
are in the habit of setting great nets across the entrance of 
streams, so as to answer the purpose either at the flow or at the 
ebb of the waters. These nets are formed of very large meshes, 
into which the turtles partially get entangled. Others harpoon 
them in the usual manner ; but in my estimation, no method is 
equal to that employed by Mr. Egan, the pilot, of Indian Isle. 

" That extraordinary turtler had an iron instrument which he 
called a ' peg,' and which at each end had a point, not unlike 
what nailmakers call a hrad, it being four-cornered, but flattish, 
and of a shape somewhat resembling the beak of an ivory-billed 
woodpecker, together with a neck and shoulder. IBetween the 
two shoulders of this instrument a fine tough line, fifty or more 
fathoms in length, was fastened by one end, being passed through 
a hole in the centre of the peg, and the line itself was carefully 
coiled up and placed in a convenient part of the canoe. One 
extremity of this peg enters a sheath of iron that loosely 
attaches it to a long wooden spear, until a turtle has been 
pierced through the shell by the other extremity. He of the 
canoe paddles away as silently as possible whenever he espies 


a turtle basking on the water, until he gets within a distance of 
ten or twelve yards, when he throws the spear so as to hit the 
animal about the place which an entomologist would choose, 
were it a large insect, for pinning to a piece of cork. As soon 
as the turtle is struck, the wooden handle separates from the 
peg, in consequence of the looseness of its attachment. The 
smart of the wound urges on the animal as if distracted, and it 
appears that the longer the peg remains in its shell, the more 
iirmly fastened it is, so great a pressure is exercised upon it 
by the shell of the turtle, which being suffered to run like a 
whale, soon becomes fatigued, and is secured by hauling in the 
line with great care. In this manner, as the pilot informed me 
eight hundred green turtles were caught by one man in twelve 

" Each turtle has its * crawl,' which is a square wooden build- 
ing or pen, formed of logs, which are so far separated as to allow 
the tide to pass freely through, and stand erect in the mud. 
The turtles are placed in this enclosure, fed, and kept there till 
sold. There is, however, a circumstance relating to their habits 
which I cannot omit, although I have it not from my own ocular 
evidence, but from report. When I was in Florida several of 
the turtlers assured me, that any turtle taken from the deposit- 
ing ground, and carried on the deck of a vessel several hundred 
miles, would, if then let loose, certainly be met with at the same 
spot, either immediately after, or in the following breeding 
season. Should this prove true, and it certainly may, how 
much will be enhanced the belief of the student in the uni- 
formity and solidity of iiature's arrangements, when he finds 
that the turtle, like a migratory bird, returns to the same 
locality, with perhaps a delight similar to that experienced 
by the traveller who, after visiting different countries, once 
more returns to the bosom of his cherished family." 



In America: Episode in New Brunswick. 

In the beginning of August, Audubon, accompanied by his wife 
and two sons, went on a journey to the State of Maine, to 
examine the birds in the most unfrequented parts ; and the 
following episodes contain the naturalist's own summary of that 
visit. They travelled in a private conveyance through Maine, 
going towards the British provinces, and the country was ex- 
plored at leisure as they travelled. 

JouKNEY IN New Brunswick. 

" The morning after that we had spent with Sir Archibald 
Campbell and his delightful family, saw us proceeding along the 
shores of St. John's River in the British province of New Bruns- 
wick. As we passed the government house our hearts bade its 
generous inmates adieu; and as we left Frederickton behind, 
the recollection of the many acts of kindness which we had 
received from its inhabitants came powerfully oft our minds. 
Slowly advancing over the surface of the translucent stream, we 
still fancied our ears saluted by the melodies of the unrivalled 
band of the 43rd Regiment. In short, with the remembrance of 
the kindness experienced, the feeling of expectations gratified, 
the hope of adding to our knowledge, and the possession of 
health and vigour, we were luxuriating in happiness. The 
Favourite, the bark in which we were, contained not only my 
family, but nearly a score and a half of individuals of all 


descriptions ; so that the crowded state of her cabin soon began 
to prove rather disagreeable. The boat itself was a mere seow, 
commanded by a person of rather uncouth aspect and rude 
manners. Two sorry nags he had fastened to the end of a long 
tow-line, on the nearer of which rode a negro youth less than 
half clad, with a long switch in one hand and the joined bridles 
in the other, striving with all his might to urge them on at the 
rate of something more than two miles an hour. How fortunate 
it is for one to possess a little knowledge of a true traveller ! 
Following the advice of a good, and somewhat aged one, we had 
provided ourselves with a large basket, which was not altogether 
empty when we reached the end of our agreeable excursion. 
Here and there the shores of the river were beautiful ; the space 
between it and the undulating hills that bounded the prospect 
being highly cultivated, while now and then its abrupt and rocky 
banks assumed a most picturesque appearance. Although it 
was late in September, the mowers were still engaged in cutting 
the grass, and the gardens of the farmers showed patches of 
green peas. The apples were yet green, and the vegetation in 
general reminded us that we were in a northern latitude. 
Gradually and slowly we proceeded, until in the afternoon we 
landed to exchange our jaded horses. We saw a house on an 
eminence, with groups of people assembled around it, but no 
dinner could be obtained, because, as the landlord told u8, an 
election was going on. So the basket was had recourse to, and 
on the green sward we refreshed ourselves with its contents. 
This done, we returned to the scow, and resumed our stations. 
As is usual in such cases, in every part of the world that I have 
visited, our second set of horses was worse than the first. 
However, on we went ; but to tell you how often the tow-line 
gave way would not be more amusing to you than it was annoy- 
ing to us. Once our commander was in consequence plunged 
into the stream, but after some exertion he succeeded in gaining 
his gallant bark, when he consoled himself by giving utterance 
to a volley of blasphemies, which it would ill become me to 
repeat, as it would be disagreeable to you to hear. We slept 
somewhere that night ; it does not suit my views to tell you 
where. Before day returned to smile on the Favourite, we 
proceeded. Some rapids we came to, when every one, glad to 



assist her, leaped on shore, and hugged a la cordelle. Some 
miles further we passed a curious cataract, formed by the waters 
of the Pakioke. 

" There Sambo led his steeds up the sides of a high bank, 
when, lo ! the whole party came tumbling down like so many 
hogsheads of tobacco rolled from a store-house to the banks of 
the Ohio. He at the steering oar, ' Hoped the black rascal had 
broken his neck,' and congratulated himself in the same breath 
for the safety of his horses, which presently got on their feet. 
Sambo, however, alert as an Indian chief, leaped on the naked 
back of one, and, showing his teeth, laughed at his master's 
curses. Shortly after this, we found our boat very snugly 
secured on the top of a rock, midway in the stream, just op- 
posite the mouth of Eel Eiver. Next day at noon — none injured, 
but all chop-fallen — we were landed at Woodstock Village, yet 
in its infancy. After dining there, we procured a cart and an 
excellent driver, and proceeded along an execrable road towards 
Houlton, in Maine, glad enough, after all our mishaps, at finding 
ourselves in our own country. But before I bid farewell to the 
beautiful river of St. John, I must tell you that its navigation 
seldom exceeds eight months each year, the passage during the 
rest being performed on the ice, of which we were told that last 
season there was an unusual quantity ; so much indeed as to 
accumulate, by being jammed at particular spots, to the height 
of nearly fifty feet above the ordinary level of the river, and 
that when it broke loose in the spring the crash was awful. All 
the low grounds along the river were suddenly flooded, and even 
the, elevated plain on which Frederickton stands was covered 
to the depth of four feet. Fortunately, however, as on the 
greater streams of the Western and Southern districts, such an 
occurrence seldom takes place. 

" Major Clarke, commander of the United States garrison, 
received us with remarkable kindness. The next day was spent 
in along, though fruitless, ornithological excursion ; for although 
we were accompanied by officers and men from the garrison, 
not a bird did any of our party procure that was of any use to 
us. We remained a few days, iowever ; after which, hiring a 
cart,, two horses, and a driver, we proceeded in the direction of 
Bangor. Houlton is a neat village, consisting of some fifty 


houses. The fort is well situated, and commands a fine view of 
Mars Hill, which is about thirteen miles distant. A custom- 
house has been erected here, the place being on the boundary 
line of the United States and the British provinces. The road, 
which was cut by the soldiers of this garrison, from Bangor to 
Houlton, tljrough the forests, is at this moment a fine turnpike 
of great breadth, almost straight in its whole length, and per- 
haps the best now in the Union. It was incomplete, however, 
for some miles, so that our travelling over that portion was slow 
and disagreeable. ' The rain, which fell in torrents, reduced the 
newly-raised earth to a complete bed of mud ; and at one time 
our horses became so completely mired that, had we not been 
extricated by two oxen, we must have spent the night near the 
spot. Jogging along at a very slow pace, we were overtaken by 
a gay waggoner, who had excellent horses, twc^ of which a little 
' sUler ' induced him to joiii to ours, and we were taken to a 
tavern at the 'cross roads,' where we spent the night in 
comfort. While supper was preparing, I made inquiry re- 
specting birds, quadrupeds, and fishes, and was pleased to hear 
that all of these animals abounded in the neighbourhood. 
Deer, bears, trouts, and grouse,, were quite plentiful, as was 
the great grey owl. When we resumed our journey next 
morning Nature displayed aU her loveliness, and autumn, 
with her mellow tints, her glowing fruits, and her rich fields of 
corn, smiled in plabid beauty. Many of the fields had not yet 
been reaped ; the fruits of the forests and orchards hung cluster- 
ing around us ; and as we came in view of the Penobscot Eiver, 
our hearts thrilled with joy. Its broad transparent waters here 
spread out their unruffled surface, there danced along the rapids, 
while canoes filled with Indians swiftly glided in every direc- 
tion, raising before them the timorous waterfowl, that had 
already flocked in from the north. Mountains, which you well 
know are indispensable in a beautiful landscape, reared their 
majestic crests in the distance. The Canada jay leaped gaily 
from branch to twig; the kingfisher, as if vexed at being 
suddenly surprised, rattled loudly as it swiftly flew off; and the 
fish-hawk and eagle spread their broad wings over the waters. 
All around was beautiful, and we gazed on the scene with 
delight as, seated on a verdant bank, we refreshed our frames 

Q 2 


from our replenished stores. A few rare birds were procured 
here, and the rest of the road being level and firm, we trotted 
on at a good pace for several hours, the Penobscot keepmg 
company with us. Now we came to a deep creek, of which the 
bridge was undergoing repairs, and the people saw our vehicle 
approach with much surprise. They, however, assisted us with 
pleasure, by placing a few logs across, along which our horses, 
oae after the other, were carefully led, and. the cart afterwards 
carried. These good fellows were so averse to our recompensing 
them for their labour that, after some altercation, we were 
obliged absolutely to force what we deemed a suitable reward 
upon them. Next day we continued our journey along the 
Penobscot, the country changing its aspect at every mile ; and 
when we first descried Old Town, that village of saw-mills 
looked like an island covered with manufactories. The people 
here are noted for their industry and perseverance, and any 
one possessing a mill, arid attending to his saws and the float- 
ing of the timber into his dams, is sure to obtain a competency 
in a few years. 

" Speculations in land covered with pine, lying to the north of 
this place, are carried on to a great extent, and to discover a 
good tract of such ground many a miller of Old Town under- 
takes long journeys. Eeader, with your leave, I will here 
introduce one of them. 

" Good luck brought us into acquaintance with Mr. Gillies, 
whom we happened to meet in the course of our travels, as he 
was returning from an exploring tour. About the first of 
August he formed a party of sixteen persons, each carrying 
a knapsack and an axe. Their provisons consisted of two 
hundred and fifty pounds of pilot bread,- one hundred and fifty 
pounds of salted pork, four pounds of tea, two large loaves of sugar, 
and some salt. They embarked in light canoes, twelve miles 
north of Bangor, and followed the Penobscot as far as Wassata- 
quoik Eiver, a branch leading to the north-west, until they 
reached the Seboois Lakes, the principal of which lie in a 
line, with short portages between them. Still proceeding 
north-west, they navigated these lakes, and then turning west, 
carried their canoes to the great lake ' Baamchenunsgamook ;' 
thence north to ' Wallaghasquegantook ' Lake ; then along 


a small stream to the upper ' Umsaskiss ' Pond, when they 
reached the Albugash Eiver, which leads into the St. John's, in 
about latitude 47° 3'. Many portions of that country had not 
been visited before even by the Indians, who assured Mr. Gillies 
of this fact. They continued their travels down the St. John's 
to the grand falls, where they met with a portage of half a 
mile, and, having reached Medux-mekcag Creek, a little above 
Woodstock, the party walked to Houlton, having travelled 
twelve hundred miles, and described almost an oval over the 
country by the time they returned to Old Town on the 
Penobscot. While anxiously looking for ' lumber lands,' they 
ascended the eminences around, then climbed the tallest trees, 
and, by means of a great telescope, inspected the pine woods in 
the distance. And such excellent judges are these persons of 
the value of the timber which they thus observe, when it is 
situated at a convenient distance from water, that they never 
afterwards forget the different spots at all worthy of their 
attention. They had observed only a few birds and quadrupeds, 
the latter principally porcupines. The borders of the lakes 
and rivers afforded them fruits of various sorts, and abundance 
of cranberries, while the uplands yielded plenty of wild white 
onions and a species of black plum. Some of the party con- 
tinued their journey in canoes down the St. John's, ascended 
Eel Eiver, and the lake of the same name to Matunemheag 
River, due south-west of the St. John's, and, after a few portages, 
fell into the Penobscot. I had made arrangements to accom- 
pany Mr. Gillies on a journey of this kind, when I judged it 
would be more interesting, as well as useful to me, to visit the 
distant country of Labrador. 

" The road which we followed from Old Town to Bangor was 
literally covered with Penobscot Indians returning from market. 
On reaching the latter beautiful town, we found very comfort- 
table lodgings in an excellent hotel, and next day proceeded 
by the mail to Boston." 

The following chapter gives some further knowledge of 
what Audubon saw during his journey through the interior 
of Maine. 



Episodes in Maine: The Maine Lumbebmen. 

" The men who are employed in cutting down the trees, and 
conveying the logs to the saw-mills or the places for shipping, 
are, in the State of Maine, called ' lumberers.' Their labours 
may be said to begin before winter has commenced, and, while 
the ground is yet uncoTered by any great depth of snow, they 
leave their homes to proceed to the interior of the pine forests, 
which in that part of the country are truly magnificent, and 
betake themselves to certain places already well known to them. 
Their provisions, axes, saws, and other necessary articles, to- 
gether with the provender for their cattle, are conveyed by oxen 
on heavy sleds. Almost at the commencement of their march 
they are obliged to enter the woods ; and they have frequently 
to cut a way for themselves for considerable spaces, as the 
ground is often covered with the decaying trunks of immense 
trees, which have fallen either from age or in consequence of 
accidental burnings. These trunks, and the undergrowth which 
lies entangled in their tops, render many places almost impass- 
able even to men on foot. Over miry ponds they are sometimes 
forced to form causeways, this being, under all the circum- 
stances, the easiest mode of reaching the opposite side. Then, 
reader, is the tiine for witnessing the exertions of their fine 
large cattle. No rods do their drivers use to pain their flanks ; 
no oaths or imprecations are ever heard to fall from the lips of 
these most industrious and temperate men; for in them, as 


indeed in most of the inhabitants of our Eastern States, educa- 
tion and habit have tempered the passions and reduced the 
moral constitution to a state of harmony — nay, the sobriety 
that exists in many of the villages of Maine I liave often con- 
sidered as carried to excess, for on asking for brandy, rum, or 
whiskey, not a drop could I obtain ; and it is probable there 
was an equal lack of spirituous liquors of every other kind. Now 
and then I saw some good old wines, but they were always 
drank in careful moderation. But to return to the management 
of the oxen. Why, reader, the lumberers speak to them as if 
they were rational beings : few words seem to suffice, and their 
whole strength is applied to the labour, as if in gratitude to 
those who treat them with so much gentleness and humanity. 

" While present, on more than one occasion, at what Americans 
call ' ploughing matches,' which they have annually in many 
of the States, I have been highly gratified, and in particular at 
one — of which I still have a strong recollection — and which 
took place a few miles from the fair and hospitable city of 
Boston. There I saw fifty or more ploughs drawn by as many 
pairs of oxen, which performed their work with so much accu- 
racy and regularity, without the infliction of whip or rod, but 
merely guided by the verbal mandates of the ploughmen, that 
I was perfectly astonished. After surmounting all obstacles, 
the lumberers, with their stock, arrive at the spot which they 
have had in view, and immediately commence building a camp. 
The trees around soon fall under the blows of their axes, and, 
before many days have elapsed, a low habitation is reared and 
fitted within for the accommodation of their cattle, while their 
provender is secured on a kind of loft, covered with broad 
shingles or boards. Then their own cabin is put up ; rough 
bedsteads, manufactured on the spot, are fixed in the corners ; 
a chimney, composed of a frame of sticks plastered with mud, 
leads away the smoke ; the skins of bears or deer, with some 
blankets, form their bedding ; and around the walls are hung 
their changes of homespun clothing, guns, and various neces- 
saries of life. Many prefer spending the night on the sweet- 
scented hay and corn blades of their cattle, which are laid on 
the ground. All arranged within, the lumberers set around 
their camp their ' dead falls,' large ' steel traps,' and ' spring 


guns,' in suitable places to procure some of the bears that ever 
prowl around such establishments. Now the heavy clouds of 
November, driven by the northern blast, pour down the snow 
in feathery ilalfes. The winter has fairly set in, and seldom do 
the sun's gladdening rays fall on the woodcutter's hut. In warm 
flannels his body is enveloped, the skin of a racoon covers his 
head and brow, his moose-skin leggings reach the girdle that 
secures them round his waist, while on broad mocassins, or 
snow-shoes, he stands from the earliest dawn till night hacking 
away at the majestic pines that for a century past have em- 
bellished the forest. The fall of these valuable trees no longer 
resounds on the ground ; and as they tumble here and there, 
nothing is heard but the rustling and crackling of their branches, 
their heavy trunks sinking into the deep snow. Thousands of 
large pines thus cut down every winter afford room for the 
younger trees, which spring up profusely to supply the wants 
of man. Weeks and weeks have elapsed, the earth's pure 
white covering has become thickly and firmly crusted by the 
increasing intensity of the cold, the fallen trees have all been 
sawn into measured logs, and the long repose of the oxen has 
fitted them for hauling them to the nearest frozen stream. The 
ice gradually becomes covered with the accumulating mass of 
timber, and, their task completed, the lumberers wait impatiently 
for the breaking up of winter. At this period they pass the 
time in hunting the moose, the deer, ajid the bear, for the 
benefit of their wives and children ; and as these men are most 
excellent woodsmen, great havoc is made among the game; 
many skins, sables, martins, and musk rats, they have procured 
during the intervals of their labour, or under night. The snows 
are now giving way as the rains descend in torrents, and the 
lumberers coUect their utensils, harness their cattle, and prepare 
for their return. This they accomplish in safety. From being 
lumberers, they become millers, and with pleasure each applies 
the grating file to his saws. Many logs have already reached 
the dams on the swollen waters of the rushing streams, and the 
task commences, which is carried on through the summer, of 
cutting them up into boards. The great heat of the dog-days 
has parched the ground; every creek has become a shallow, 
«xcept here and ^there where, in a deep hole, the salmon and 


the trout have found a retreat : the sharp slimy angles of 
multitudes of rocks project, as if to afford resting-places to the 
wood ducks and herons that breed on the borders of these 
streams. Thousands of ' saw-logs ' remain in every pool, be- 
neath and above each rapid or fall. The miller's dam has been 
emptied of its timber, and he must now resort to some expedient 
to procure a fresh supply. It was my good fortune to witness 
the method employed for the purpose of collecting the logs 
that had not reached their destination, and I had the more 
pleasure that it was seen in company with my little family. 
I wish, for your sake, reader, that I could describe in an ade- 
quate manner the scene which I viewed ; but although not so 
well qualified as I could wish, rely upon it that the desire which 
I feel to gratify you will induce me to use all my endeavours 
to give you an idea of it. It was the month of September. 

"At the upper extremity of Dennisville, which is itself a 
pretty village, are the saw-mills and ponds of the hospitable 
Judge Lincoln and other persons. The creek that conveys the 
logs to these ponds, and which bears the name of the village, 
is iuterrupted in its course by many rapids and narrow embanked 
gorges. One of the latter is situated about half a mile above 
the mUl-dam, and is so rocky and rugged in the bottom and 
sides as to preclude the possibility of the trees passing along it 
at low water, while, as I conceived, it would have given no slight 
labour to an army of woodsmen or millers to move the thousands 
of large logs that had accumulated in it. They lay piled in 
confused heaps to a great height along an extent of several 
hundred yards, and were in some places so close as to have 
formed a kind of dam. Above the gorge there is a large 
natural reservoir, in which the head waters of the creek settle, 
while only a small portion of these ripple through the gorge 
below, during the latter weeks of summer and in early autumn, 
when their streams are at the lowest. At the neck of this 
basin the lumberers raised a temporary barrier with the refuse 
of their sawn logs. The boards were planted nearly upright, 
and supported at their tops by a strong tree extended from side 
to side of the creek, which might there be about forty feet in 
breadth. It was prevented from giving way under the pressure 
of the rising waters by having strong abutments of wood laid 


against its centre, while the ends of these abutments were 
secured by wedges, which could be knocked off when necessary. 
The temporary dam was now finished. Little or no water 
escaped through the barrier, and that in the creek above it 
rose in the course of three weeks to its top, which was about 
ten feet high, forming a sheet that extended upwards fully a 
mile from the dam. My family were invited early one morn- 
ing to go and witness the extraordinary eifect which would be 
produced by the breaking down of the barrier, and we all 
accompanied the lumberers to the place. Two of the men, on 
reaching it, threw off their jackets, tied handkerchiefs round 
their heads, and fastened to their bodies a long rope, the end of 
which was held by three or four others, who stood ready to 
drag their companions ashore, in case of danger or accident. 
The two operators, each bearing an axe, walked along the abut- 
ments, and, at a given signal, knocked out the wedges. A 
second blow from each sent off the abutments themselves, and 
the men, leaping with extreme dexterity from one cross log to 
another, sprung to the shore with almost the quickness of 
thought. Scarcely had they effected their escape from the 
frightful peril that threatened them, when the mass of waters 
burst forth with a horrible uproar. All eyes were bent to- 
wards the huge heaps of logs in the gorge below. The tumult- 
uous burst of the waters instantly swept away every object that 
opposed their progress, and rushed in foaming waves among the 
timber that everywhere blocked up the passage. Presently a 
slow heavy 'motion was perceived in the mass of logs ; one 
might have imagined that some mighty monster lay comnil- 
sively writhing beneath them, struggling, with a fearful energy, 
to extricate himself from the crushing weight. As the waters 
rose this movement increased ; the mass of timber extended in 
all directions, appearing to become more and more entangled 
each moment ; the logs bounced against each other, thrusting 
aside, submerging or raising into the air, those with which they 
came in contact. It seemed as if they were waging a war of 
destruction, such as the ancient authors describe the efforts of 
the Titans, the foaming of whose wrath might, to the eye of 
the painter, have been represented by the angry curlings of the 
waters, while the tremulous and rapid motions of the logs. 


which at times reared themselves almost perpendicularly, 
might by the poet have been taken for the shakings of the con- 
founded and discomfited giants. Now the rushing element fiUed 
up the gorge to the brim. The logs, once under way, rolled, 
reared, tossed, and tumbled amid the foam, as they were carried 
along. Many of the smaller trees broke across; from others, 
gi-eat splinters were sent up, and all were in some degree seamed 
and scarred. Then, in tumultuous majesty, swept along the 
mangled wreck : the current being now increased to such a 
pitch, that the logs, as they were dashed against the rocky 
shores, resounded like the report of distant artillery, or the 
angry rumblings of the thunder. Onward it rolls, the emblem 
of wreck and ruin, destruction and chaotic strife. It seemed to 
me as if I witnessed the rout of a rash army, surprised, over- 
whelmed, and overthrown : the roar of the cannon, the groans 
of the dying, and the shouts of the avengers, were thundering 
through my brain ; and amid the frightful confusion of the 
scene there came over my spirit a melancholy feeling, which 
had not entirely vanished at the end of many days. In a few 
hours almost all the timber that had lain heaped in the rocky 
gorge was floating in the great pond of the miUers, and as we 
walked homewards we talked oi the force of the waters." 



Visit to the Bat of Fundy. 

While visiting Eastport, Audubon made a trip to the Bay of 
Fundy and some of its neighbouring islands, in search of the 
birds which resort there ; and the following episode is his own 
graphic account of that journey : — 

"The Bat of Fundy. 

" It was in the month of May that I sailed in the United 
States revenue cutter the Swiftsure, engaged in a cruise in the 
Bay of Fundy. Our sails were quickly unfurled, and spread 
out to the breeze. 

" The vessel seemed to fly over the liquid element, as the 
sun rose in fuU splendour, while the clouds that floated here 
and there formed, with their glowing hues, a rich contrast with 
the pure azure of the heavens above us. We approached apace 
the island of Grand Manan, of which the stupendous cliffs 
gradually emerged from the deep, with the majestic boldness of 
her noblest native chief. Soon our bark passed beneath its 
craggy head, covered with trees which, on account of the 
height, seemed scarcely larger than shrubs. The prudent raven 
spread her pinions, launchied from the cliff, and flew away 
before us ; the golden eagle, soaring aloft, moved majestically 
along in wide circles ; the guillemots sat on their eggs upon 
the shelvy precipices, or, plunging into the water, dived and 


rose again at a great distance ; the broad-breasted eider duck 
covered her eggs among the grassy tufts ; on a naked rock the 
seal lazily basked, its sleek sides glistening in the sunshine ; 
■while shoals of porpoises were swiftly gliding through the waters 
around us, showing by their gambols that, although doomed to 
the deep, their life was not devoid of pleasure. Far away stood 
the bold shores of Nova Scotia, gradually fading in the distance, 
of which the grey tints beautifully relieved the wing-like sails 
of many a fishing-bark. Cape after cape, forming eddies and 
counter-currents far too terrific to be described by a landsman, 
we passed in succession, until we reached a deep cove near the 
shores of White-head Island, which is divided from Grand 
Manan by a narrow strait, where we anchored secure from every 
blast that could blow. In a short time we found ourselves 
under the roof of Captain Frankland, the sole owner of the isle, 
of which the surface contains about fifteen hundred acres. He 
received us all with politeness, and gave us permission to seek 
out its treasures, which we immediately set about doing, for I 
was anxious to study the habits of certain gulls that breed there 
in great numbers. As Captain Coolidge, our worthy com- 
mander, had assured me, we found them on their nests on 
almost every tree of a wood that covered several acres. What 
a treat, reader, was it to find birds of this kind lodged on fir- 
trees, and sitting comfortably on their eggs ! 

" Their loud cackling notes led us to their place of resort, 
and ere long we had satisfactorily observed their habits, and 
collected as many of themselves and their eggs as we considered 
sufficient. In our walks we noticed a rat, the only quadruped 
found in the island, and observed abundance of gooseberries, 
currants, rasps, strawberries, and huckleberries. Seating our- 
selves on the summit of the rocks, in view of the vast Atlantic, 
we spread out our stores and refreshed ourselves with our 
simple fare. Now we followed the objects of our pursuit 
through the tangled woods, now carefully picked our steps 
over the spongy grounds. The air was fiUed with the melodious 
concerts of birds, and all Nature seemed to smile in quiet 
enjoyment. We wandered about until the setting sun warned 
us to depart, when, returning to the house of the proprietor, we 
sat down to an excellent repast, and amused ourselves with 


relating anecdotes and forming arrangements for the morrow. 
Our captain complimented us on our success when we reached 
the Swiftsure, and ia due time we betook ourselves to our 
hammocks. The next morning, a strange sail appearing in the 
distance, preparations were instantly made to pay her com- 
mander a visit. The signal-staff of 'White-head Island' 
displayed the British flag, while Captain Frankland and his 
men stood on the shore, and as we gave our sails to the wind, 
three hearty cheers filled the air, and were instantly responded 
to by us. The vessel was soon approached, but all was found 
right with her, and, squaring our yards, onward we sped, 
cheerily bounding over the gay billows, until our captain set 
us ashore at Eastport. At another time my party was received 
on board the revenue cutter's tender, the Fancy, a charming 
name for so beautiful a craft. We set sail towards evening. 
The cackling of the ' old wives,' that covered the bay, filled me 
with delight, and thousands of gulls and cormorants seemed as 
if anxious to pilot us into 'Head Harbour Bay,' where we 
anchored for the night. Leaping on the rugged shore, we 
made our way to the lighthouse, where we found Mr. Snelling, 
a good and honest Englishman, from Devonshire. His family 
consisted of "three wild-looking lasses, beautiful, like the most 
finished productions of Nature. In his lighthouse, snugly en- 
sconced, he spent his days in peaceful forgetfulness of the world, 
subsisting principally on the fish of the bay. When day broke, 
how delightful it was to see fair Nature open her graceful eye- 
lids, and present herself arrayed in all that was richest and 
purest before her Creator ! Ah ! reader, how indelibly are 
such moments engraved upon my soul 1 with what ardour have 
I at such times gazed around me, fuU of the desire of being 
enabled to comprehend all that I saw ! How often have I 
longed to converse with the feathered inhabitants of the forest, 
aU of which seemed then intent on offering up their thanks to 
the object- of my own adoration ! But the wish could not be 
gratified, although I now feel satisfied that I have enjoyed as 
much of the wonders and beauties of Nature as it was proper 
for me to enjoy. The delightful trills of the winter wren rolled 
through the underwood, the red squirrel smacked time with 
his chops, the loud notes of the robin sounded clearly from the 


tops of the trees, the rosy grosbeak Dipped ^he tender blossoms 
of the maples, and high overhead thd loons passed in pairs, 
rapidly wending their way toward far-distant shores. Would 
that I could have followed in their wake! The hour of our 
departure had come, and, as we sailed up the bay, our pilot — 
who had been fishing for cod — was taken on board. A few of 
his fish were roasted on a plank before the embers, and formed 
the principal part of our breakfast. The breeze was light, and 
it was not until afternoon that we arrived at Point Lepreaux 
Harbour, where every one, making choice of his course, went in 
search of curiosities or provender. Now, reader, the little 
harbour in which, if you wish it, we shall suppose we still are 
is renowned for a circumstance which I feel much inclined to 
endeavour to explain to you. Several species of ducks, that in 
myriads cover the waters of the Bay of Fundy, are at times 
destroyed in this particular spot in a very singular manner. 
When July has come, all the water birds that are no longer 
capable of reproducing remain, like so many forlorn bachelors 
and old maids, to renew their plumage along the shores. At 
the period when these poor birds are unfit for flight, troops of 
Indians make their appearance in light bark canoes, paddled by 
their squaws and papooses. They form their flotilla into an 
extended curve, and drive before them the birds ; not in silence, 
but with simultaneous horrific yells, at the same time beating 
the surface of the water with their long poles and paddles. 
Terrified by the noise, the birds swim a long way before them, 
endeavouring to escape with all their might. The tide is high, 
every cove is filled, and into the one where we now are thousands 
of ducks are seen entering. The Indians have ceased to shout, 
and the canoes advance side by side. Time passes on, the tide 
swiftly recedes as it rose, and there are the birds left on the 
beach. See with what pleasure each wild inhabitant of the 
forest seizes his stick, the squaws and younglings following with 
similar weapons ! Look at them rushing on their prey, falling 
on the disabled birds, and smashing them with their cudgels, 
until all are destroyed! In this manner upwards of five 
hundred wild fowls have often been procured in a few hours. 
Three pleasant days were spent about Point Lepreaux, when 
the Fancy spread her wings to the breeze. In one harbour we 


fished for shells, wj^h a capital dredge, and in another searched 
along the shore for eggs. The Papamaquody chief is seen 
gliding swiftly over the deep in his fragile bark. He has 
observed a porpoise breathing. Watch him, for now he is close 
upon the unsuspecting dolphin. He rises erect; aims his 
musket : smoke rises curling from the pan, and rushes from the 
iron tube, when soon after the report reaches the ear : mean- 
time, the porpoise has suddenly turned back downwards ; it is 
dead. The body weighs a hundred pounds or more, but this, to 
the_ tough-fibred son of the woods, is nothing ; he reaches it 
with his muscular arms, and, at a single jerk — while with his 
legs he dexterously steadies the canoe — he throws it length- 
wise at his feet. Amidst the highest waves of the Bay of 
Fundy, these feats are performed by the Indians during the 
whole of the season, when the porpoises resort thither. 

" You have often, no doubt, heard of the extraordinary tides 
of this bay ; so had I, but, like others, I was loth to believe 
that the reports were strictly true. So I went to the pretty 
town of Windsor, in Nova Scotia, to judge for myself. 

" But let us leave the Fancy for awhile, and fancy ourselves 
at Windsor. Late one day in August, my companions and I 
were seated on the grassy and elevated bank of the river, about 
eighty feet or so above its bed, which was almost dry, and 
extended for nine miles below like a sandy wilderness. Many 
vessels lay on the high banks, taking in their cargo of gypsum. 
We thought the appearance very singular, but we were too late 
to watch the tide that evening. Next morning we resumed 
our station, and soon perceived the water flowing towards us, 
and rising with a rapidity of which we had previously seen no 
example. We planted along the steep declivity of the bank a 
number of sticks, each three feet long, the base of one being placed 
on a level with the top of that below it, and when about half flow 
the tide reached their tops, one after another, rising three feet 
in ten minutes, or eighteen in the hour, and at high water the 
surface was sixty-five feet above the bed of the river. On look- 
ing for the vessels which we had seen the previous evening, we 
were told that most of them had gone with the night tide. 
But now we are again on board the Fancy ; Mr. Claredge stands 
near the pilot, who sits next to the man at the helm. On we 

A RESCUE. 241 

move swiftly, for the breeze has freshened^, many islands we 
pass in succession ; the wind increases to a gale. With reefed 
sails we dash along, and now rapidly pass a heavily-laden sloop, 
gallantly running across our course with imdiminished sail, 
when suddenly we see her upset. Staves and spars are floating 
around, and presently we observe three men scrambling up her 
sides, and seating themselves on the keel, where they make 
signals of distress to us. By this time we have rim to a great 
distance; but Claredge, cool and prudent, as every seaman 
ought to be, has already issued his orders to the helmsman and 
crew, and, now near the wind, we gradually approach the 
sufferers. A line is thrown to them, and next moment we are 
alongside the vessel. A fisher's boat, too, has noticed the 
disaster, and, with long strokes of her oars, advances, now rising 
oh the curling wave, and now sinking out of sight. By our 
mutual effort's the men are brought on board, and the sloop is 
slowly towed into a safe harbour. In an hour after my party 
was safely landed at Eastport, where, on looking over the 
waters, and observing the dense masses of vapours that veiled 
the shore, we congratulated ourselves at having escaped from 
the Bay of Fundy." 



Eetuen to Boston — Wandbbings est the Nbighbouehood — Voyage to 
Labbadoe in the Schooner Eiplby — Misadventubes at Little 
EivBK — Seal and Mud Islands — The Gut op Canseatj. 

From Frederickton Audubon returned in a private conveyance 
to Houlton, thence along the United States military road to 
Bangor, and thence by public stages to Boston, where he 
arrived early in October. Finding that it would improve his 
great work on the " Birds " to remain another year in America, 
and visit parts of the country yet unexplored by him, Audubon 
determined to send his eldest son Victor to England, to 
superintend the engraving, and to look after his general 
interests there. Victor Audubon accordingly sailed from New 
York for Liverpool, toward the end of October, while his father 
remained in Boston during that and the following winter, 
actively engaged in making drawings of new birds which he 
had discovered, and also in redrawing and greatly improving 
some of his older drawings. He also made frequent excursions 
into the surrounding couhtry. " Here," says the Journal, " I was 
witness to the melancholy death of the great Spurzheim, and was 
myself suddenly attacked by a short but severe illness, which 
greatly alarmed my family ; but thanks to Providence and my 
medical friends, Parkman, Shattuck, and Warren, I was soon 
enabled to proceed with my labour — a sedentary life and too 
close application being the cause assigned for my indisposition. I 
resolved to set out again in quest of fresh materials for my pencil 


and pen. My wishes directing me to Labrador, I returned 
eastward with my youngest son, and had the pleasure of being 
joined by four young gentlemen, all fond of natural history, 
and willing to encounter the diiBculties and privations of the 
voyage — George Shattuck, Thomas Lincoln, William Ingalls, 
and Joseph Coolidge." 

The schooner ilipley was chartered at Boston for fifteen 
hundred dollars for the trip to Labrador. The journal contain- 
ing the narrative begins at Eastport. 

" June 4, 1843. The day has been fine, and I dined with 
Captain Ghilds, commanding the United States troops here. 
We had a pleasant dinner, but I am impatient to be under 
weigh for Labrador. The vessel is being prepared for our 
reception and departure ; and we have concluded to ship two 
extra sailors, and a boy, to be a sort of major-domo, to clean our 
guns, hunt for nests and birds, and assist in skinning them, &c.. 
While rambling in the woods this morning I discovered a crow's 
nest with five young ones in it, and as I climbed the tree the 
parents came to the rescue of their children, crying loudly and 
with such perseverance, that in fifteen minutes more than fifty 
pairs of these birds had joined in their vociferations, although I 
saw only a single pair when I began to climb the tree. 

" June 6. We sailed from Eastport about one o'clock p.m., 
and the whole male population seemed to have turned out to 
witness our departure, just as if no schooner of the size of the 
Eipley had ever gone from this mighty port to Labrador ; 
our numerous friends came with the throng, and we all shook 
hands as if we were never to meet again ; and as we pushed off 
with a trifling accident or so, the batteries of the garrison and 
the cannon of the revenue cutter in the stream saluted us with 
stout, loud, and oft-repeated reports. Captain Coolidge accom- 
panied us, and was, indeed, our pilot, until we passed Lubec. 
The wind was light and ahead, and yet with the assistance of 
the tide we drifted twenty-five miles down to Little Eiver 
during the night. 

" June 7. This morning found us riding at anchor near some 
uglylooking rocks, the sight of which caused our captain to try 
to get out of their way, and the whole morning was spent in 
trying to get into Little Eiver, but the men were unable to tow 

E 2 


US in. We landed for a few minutes and shot a hermit thrush, 
but the wind sprang up, and we returned to the vessel and tried 
to put out to sea ; we were for a time in danger of drifting upon 
the rocks, but the wind increased, and we made our way out to 
sea. Suddenly, however, the fog came drifting in, and was so 
thick that we could hardly see the bowsprit, and the night was 
spent in direful apprehension of some impending evil ; although, 
about twelve, squalls of wind decided in our favour, and when 
day dawned the wind was blowing fresh from the north, and we 
were driving on the waters, all sea-sick, and crossing that worst 
of all dreadful bays, the Bay of Pundy. 

" June 8. We sailed between Seal and Mud Islands. In the 
latter the procellaria (a species of gull) breed abundantly ; 
their nests are dug in the sand to the depth of two feet or more, 
and the whole island is covered with them, looking like rat 
holes. They lay three white eggs." 

The next two days recorded in the Journal describe the winds 
and sights, and birds which were seen as the voyagers scudded 
from Cape Sable to the Gut of Canseau, so named by the early 
French voyagers, because they found vast quantities of wild 
geese there. The wind was fair, and the captain of the 
Eipley wished to continue his course to Labrador. But 
Audubon, anxious to explore every part of the coast along 
which they were sailing, persuaded the captain to come to 
anchor in a harbour in the Gut of Canseau, of the same name. 
Here he found twenty sail of Labrador fishermen at anchor, and 
obtained the information which enabled him to write the follow- 
ing episode. 


Episode : Cod-Fishing in Labbadob. 

" Although I had seen, as I thought, abundance of fish along 
the coasts of the Floridas, the numbers which I found in 
Labrador quite astonished me. Should your surprise while 
reading the following statements be as great as mine was while 
observing the facts related, you will conclude, as I have often 
done, that Nature's means for providing small animals for the 
use of large ones, and vice versa, are as ample as is the grandeur 
of that world which she has so curiously constructed. The coast 
of Labrador is visited by European as well as American fisher- 
men, all of whom are, I believe, entitled to claim portions of 
fishing ground, assigned to each nation by mutual understanding. 
For the present, however, I shall confine my observations to 
those who chiefly engage in this department of our commerce. 
Eastport in " Maine sends out every year a goodly fleet of 
schooners and ' pick-axes ' to Labrador, to procure cod, mackerel, 
halibut, and sometimes herring, the latter being caught in the 
intermediate space. The vessels from that port, and others in 
Maine and Massachusetts, sail as' soon as the warmth of spring 
has freed the gulf of ice, that is from the beginning of May to 
that of June. 

" A vessel of one hundred tons or so is provided with a crew of 
twelve men, who are equally expert as sailors and fishers, and 
for every couple of these hardy tars a Hampton boat is provided, 
which is lashed on the deck or hung in stays. Their provision 
is simple, but of good quality, and it is very seldom any spirits 
are allowed ; beef, pork, and biscuit, with water, being all they 
take with them. The men are supplied with warm clothing. 


water-proof oil jackets and trousers, large boots, broad-brimmed 
bats witb a round crown, and stout mittens, with a few shirts. 
The owner or captain furnishes them with lines, hooks, and nets, 
and also provides the bait best adapted to insure success. The 
hold of the vessel is iilled with casks of various dimensions, some 
containing salt, and others for the oil that may be procured. 
The bait generally used at the beginning of the season consists 
of mussels, salted for the purpose ; but as soon as the capelings 
reach the coast, they are substituted to save expense ; and, in 
many instances, the flesh of gannets and other sea-fowl is em- 
ployed. The wages of fishermen vary from sixteen to thirty 
dollars per month, according to the qualifications of the indi- 
vidual. The labour of these men is excessively hard, for, unless 
on Sunday, their allowance of rest in the twenty-four hours 
seldom exceeds three. The cook is the only person who fares 
better in this respect, but he must also assist in curing the fish. 
He has breakfast, consisting of coffee, bread, and meat, ready 
for the captain and the whole crew, by three o'clock every 
morning except Sunday. Each person carries with him his 
dinner ready cooked, which is commonly eaten on the fishing 
ground. Thus, at three in the morning, the crew are prepared 
for their day's labour, and ready to betake themselves to their 
boats, each of which has two oars and lug-sails. They all depart 
at once, and either by rowing or sailing, reach the banks to 
which the fishes are known to resort. The little squadron drop 
their anchors at short distances from each other, In a depth of 
from ten to twenty feet, and the business is immediately com- 
menced. Each man has two lines, and each stands in one end 
of the boat, the middle of which is boarded off to hold the fish. 
The baited lines have been dropped into the water, one on each 
side of the boat ; their leads have reached the bottom ; a fish has 
taken the hook, and after giving the line a slight jerk, the 
fisherman hauls up his. prize with a continued pull, throws the 
fish athwart a small roimd bar of iron placed near his back, 
which forces open the mouth, while the weight of the body, 
however small the fish may be, tears out the hook. The bait is 
still good, and over the side the line again goes, to catch 
another fish, while that on the left is now drawn up, and the 
same course pursued. In this manner, a fisher busily plying at 


each end, the operation is continued, until the boat is so laden 
that her gunwale is brought within a few inches of the surface, 
when they return to the vessel in harbour, seldom distant more 
than eight miles from the banks. During the greater part of 
the day the fishermen have kept up a constant conversation, of 
which the topics are the pleasures of finding a good supply of 
cod, their domestic affairs, the political prospects of the nation, 
and other matters similarly connected. Now the repartee of 
one elicits a laugh from the other ; this passes from man to 
man, and the whole flotilla enjoy the joke. The men of one 
boat strive to outdo those of the others in hauling up the 
greatest quantity of fish in a given time, and this forms another 
source of merriment. The boats are generally filled about the 
same time, and all return together. Arrived at the vessel, each 
man employs a pole armed with a bent iron, resembling the 
prong of a hay-fork, with which he pierces the fish and throws 
it with a jerk on deck, counting the number thus discharged 
with a loud voice. Each cargo is thus safely deposited, and the 
boats instantly return to the fishing ground, when, after anchor- 
ing, the men eat their dinner and begin anew. There, good 
reader, with your leave, I will let them pursue their avocations 
for awhile, as 1 am anxious that you should witness what is doing 
on board the vessel. The captain, four men, and the cook have, 
in the course of the morning, erected long tables fore and aft of 
the main hatchway. They have taken to the shore most of the 
salt barrels, and have placed in a row their large empty casks to 
receive the livers. The hold of the vessel is quite clear, except 
a corner, where is a large heap of salt. And now the men, 
having dined precisely at twelve, are ready with their large 
knives. One begins with breaking off the head of the fish, a 
slight pull of the hand and a gash with the knife effecting this 
in a moment. He slits up the belly, with one hand pushes it 
aside to his neighbour, then throws overboard the head and 
begins to doctor another ; the next man tears out the entrails, 
separates the liver, which he throws into a cask, and casts the 
rest overboard. A third person dexterously passes his knife 
beneath the vertebrae of the fish, separates them from the flesh, 
heaves the latter through the hatchway, and the former into the 
water. Now, if you will peep into the hold, you will see the 


last stage of the process, the salting and packing. Six ex- 
perienced men generally manage to head, gut, bone, salt, and 
pack all the fish caught in the morning, by the return of the 
boats with fresh cargoes, when all hands set to work and clear 
the deck of the fish. Thus their labours continue until twelve 
o'clock, when they wash their faces and hands, put on clean 
clothes, hang their fishing apparel on the shrouds, and, betaking 
themselves to the forecastle, are soon in a sound sleep. 

" At three next morning comes the captain from his berth, 
rubbing his eyes, and in a -loud voice calling, 'All hands, ho!' 
Stiffened in limb, and but half awake, the crew quickly appear 
on deck. Their fingers and hands are so cramped and swollen 
by pulling the lines that it is difiScult for them even to straighten 
a thumb ; but this matters little at present, for the cook, who 
had a good nap yesterday, has risen an hour before them, and 
prepared their coffee and eatables. Breakfast despatched, they 
exchange their clean clothes for the fishing apparel, and leap 
into their boats, which had been washed the previous night, and 
again the flotilla bounds to the fishing ground. As there may 
be not less than 100 schooners or pick-axes in the harbour, 
300 boats resort to the banks each day; and as each boat may 
procure 2,000 cod per diem, when Saturday night comes, about 
600,000 fishes have been brought to the harbour. This having 
caused some scarcity on the fishing grounds, and Sunday being 
somewhat of an idle day, the captain collects the salt ashore, 
and sets sail for some other convenient harbour, which he expects 
to reach before sunset. If the weather be favourable the men 
get a good deal of rest during the voyage, and on Monday 
things go on as before. I must not omit to tell you, reader, 
that while proceeding from one harbour to another the vessel 
has passed near a rock which is the breeding place of myriads 
of pufSns. She has laid to for an hour or so, while part of the 
crew have landed and collected a store of eggs, excellent as a 
substitute for cream, and not less so when hard boiled as food 
for the fishing grounds. I may as well inform you also how 
these adventurous fellows distinguish the fresh eggs from the 
others. They fill up some large tubs with water, throw in a 
quantity of egg-, and allow them to remain a minute or so, 
when those which come to the surface are tossed overboard, and 


even those that manifest any upward tendency share the same 
treatment. All that remain at bottom, you may depend upon 
it, good reader, are perfectly sound, and not less palatable than 
any that you have ever eaten, or that your best guinea-fowl has 
just dropped in your barn-yard ; but let us return to the cod-fish. 
The fish already procured and salted is taken ashore at the new 
harbour by part of the crew, whom the captain has marked as 
the worst hands at fishing. There on the bare rocks, or elevated 
scaffolds of considerable extent, the salted cods are laid side by 
side to dry in the sun. They are turned several times a day, 
and in the intervals the men bear a hand on board at clearing 
and stowing away the daily produce of the fishing banks. 
Towards evening they return to the drying grounds, and put up 
the fish in piles resembling so many haystacks, disposing those 
towards the top in such a manner that the rain cannot injure 
them, and placing a heavy stone on the summit to prevent their 
being thi-own down, should it blow hard during the night. 
You see, reader, that the life of a Labrador fisherman is not one 
of idleness. The capelings have approached the shores, and in 
myriads enter every basin and stream to deposit their spawn, 
for now July is come, the cods follow them as the bloodhound 
follows his prey, and their compact masses literally line the 
shores. The fishermen now adopt another method. They have 
brought with them long and deep seines, one end of which is, 
by means of a line, fastened to the shore, while the other is in 
the usual manner drawn out in a broad sweep, to inclose as 
great a space as possible, and hauled on shore by means of a 
capstan. Some of the men in boats support the corked part of 
the net, and beat the water to frighten the fishes within towards 
the land ; while others, armed with poles, enter the water, hook 
the fishes, and fling them on the beach, the net being gradually 
drawn closer as the number of fishes diminish. What do you 
think, reader, as to the number of cods secured in this manner 
at a single haul ? — twenty or thirty thousand. You may form 
some notion of the matter when I tell you that the young 
gentlemen of my party, while going along the shores, caught 
cod-fish alive with their hands, and trouts of weight with a piece 
of twine and a mackerel hook hung to their gun rods ; and that 
if two of them walked knee-deep along the rocks, holding a 


handkerchief by the corners, they swept it full of capelings : 
should you not trust me in this, I refer you to the fishermen 
themselves, or recommend you to go to Labrador, where you 
will give credit to the testimony of your eyes. The seining of 
the cod-fish is not, 1 believe, quite lawful, for a great proportion 
of the codlings which are dragged ashore at last are so small as 
to be considered useless, and, instead of being returned to the 
water as they ought to be, are left on the shore, where they are 
ultimately eaten by bears, wolves, and ravens. The fishes taken 
along the coast or fishing stations only a few miles off are of 
small dimensions, and I believe I am correct in saying that few 
of them weigh more than two pounds when perfectly cured, or 
exceed six when taken out of the water. The fish are liable to 
several diseases, and at times are annoyed by parasitic animals, 
which in a short time render them lean and unfit for use. Some 
individuals, from laziness or other causes, fish with naked hooks, 
and thus frequently wound the cod without securing them, in 
consequence of which the shoals are driven away, to the detri- 
ment of the other fishers. Some carry their cargoes to other 
ports before drying them, while others dispose of them to agents 
from distant shores. Some have only a pick-axe of fifty tons, 
while others are owners of seven or eight vessels of equal or 
larger burden ; but whatever be their means, should the season 
prove favourable, they are generally well repaid for their labour. 
I have known instances of men who on their first voyage ranked 
as ' boys,' and in ten years after were in independent circum- 
stances, although they still continued to resort to the fishing. 
' For,' said they to me, ' how could we be content to spend our 
time in idleness at home ?' I know a person of this class who 
has carried on the trade for many years, and who has quite a 
little fleet of schooners, one of which, the largest and most 
beautifully built, has a cabin as neat and comfortable as any 
that I have ever seen in a vessel of the same size. This vessel 
took fish on board only when perfectly cured, or acted as pilot 
to the rest, and now and then would return home with an ample 
supply of halibut, or a cargo of prime mackerel. On another 
occasion I will offer some remarks on the improvements which 
I think might be made in the cod fisheries of the coast of 


En Rotjte to Labeadob — Gut op Canseau — Jestioo Island — Entebe Bay — 
Magdalene Island — The Inhabitants — Oenithologioal Notes — 
BiEDS ON the Book — Natasquan Eivee — Piest Impeessions op La- 


June 11. From the entrance to the Gut of Oanseau, where the 
Ripley lay at anchor, Audubon had the first view of the south- 
eastern coast of Nova Scotia, which he describes as " dreary, 
rocky, poor and inhospitable-looking." It snowed the next day, 
yet, when the party went ashore, they found not only trees in 
bloom, but the ground plants were in flower, and some tolerably 
good-looking grass j and they saw also robins, and sparrows, 
and finches, and their nests with young ones. But no custom- 
house officer appeared, nor any individual who could give them 
any valuable information. They found lobsters very abundant, 
and caught forty in a very short time ; but to their surprise 
they did not see a single sea-bird. 

" June 12. To-day there has been cold, rain and hail, but the 
frogs are piping in the pools. By-and-by the weather became 
beautiful, and the wind fair, and we were soon under way, 
following in the wake of the whole fleet, which had been 
anchored in the harbour of Canseau, and gliding across the 
great bay under full press of sail. The land locked us in, the 
water was smooth, the sky serene, and the thermometer at 46°, 
and the sunshine on deck was very agreeable. After sailing 
twenty-one miles we entered the real Gut of Canseau, paissing 


one after another every vessel of the fleet with which we had 

" The land on each side now rose in the form of an amphi- 
theatre, and on the Nova Scotia side to a considerable height ; 
dwellings appeared here and there, but the country is too poor 
for comfort ; the timber is small, and the land too stony ; a 
small patch of ploughed land planted, or ready for potatoes, was 
all the cultivation we saw. Near one house we saw a few apple- 
trees, which were not yet in bloom. The general appearance 
of this passage reminded me of some parts of the Hudson River, 
and, accompanied as we were by thirty sail of vessels, the time 
passed agreeably. Vegetation appeared about as forward as at 
Eastport : saw a few chimney swallows and heard a few blue 
jays. 'As we passed Cape Porcupine, a high rounding hill, we 
saw some Indians in birch-bark canoes, and clearing Cape George 
we were soon in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. From this place, on 
the 20th of May last year, the sea was a sheet of ice as far. as 
the eye could reach with the aid of a good spy-glass. 

" We ran down the west coast of Cape Breton Island, and the 
country looked well in the distance ; large undulating hills were 
covered with many hamlets, and patches of cultivated land 
were seen. It being calm when we neared Jestico Island, about 
tlrree miles from Cape Breton, I left the vessel and lauded on it. 
It was covered with well-grown grass, and filled with strawberry 
vines in full bloom. The sun shone brightly, the weather was 
pleasant, and we found many northern birds breeding there ; 
the wild gooseberries were plentiful, about the size of a pea, and 
a black currant also. The wind arose, and we hurried back to 
the vessel : on the way my son John and some of the sailors 
nearly killed a seal with their oars. 

" June 13. This morning at four o'clock we came in sight of 
the Magdalene Islands, distant about twenty miles. The morning 
was dull, and by breakfast-time a thick fog obscured the horizon, 
and we lost sight of the islands ; the wind rose sluggishly and 
dead ahead, and several ships and brigs loaded with timber from 
the Miremachie came near us beating their way to the Atlantic. 
At nine o'clock we dropped anchor, being partly land-locked 
between Breton Island and the Highlands, and within a quarter 
of a mile of an island, which formed a part of the group. The 


pilot, who is well acquainted here, informed m6 that the islands 
are all connected by dry sand-bars, and with no channel between 
them except the one we are in, called Entree Bay, which, is 
formed by Entree Island and a long sand-spit connecting it 
with the mainland. The island is forty-eight miles long, and 
three in breadth ; the formation is a red rough sandy soil, and 
the north-west side is constantly wearing away by the action of 
the sea. Guillemots were seated upright along the projecting 
shelvings in regular order, resembling so many sentinels on the 
look-out ; many gannets also were seen on the extreme points 
of the island. On one of the islands were many houses, and a 
small church, and on the highest land a large cross, indicating 
the religion of the inhabitants. Several small vessels lay in 
the harbour called Pleasant Bay, but the weather is so cold we 
cannot visit them until to-morrow. 

" June 14, 1833. Magdalene Islands, Gulf of St. Lawrence. 
It is one week since we left Eastport, and we breakfasted with 
the thermometer at 44° in our cabin, and on deck it feels like 
mid-winter. We landed on the island next to us so chilled that 
we could scarcely use our hands ; two large bluffs frowned on 
each side of us, the resort of many sea-birds, and some noble 
ravens which we saw. Following a narrow path we soon came 
upon one of God's best-finished jewels, a woman. She saw us 
first, for women are always keenest in sight and perception, in 
patience and fortitude and love, in faith and sorrow, and, as I 
believe, in everything else which adorns our race. She was 
hurrying towards her cottage, witb a child in her arms having 
no covering but a little shirt. The mother was dressed in coarse 
French homespun, with a close white cotton nightcap on her 
head, and the mildest-looking woman I had seen in many a day. 
At a venture I addressed her in French, and it answered well, 
for she replied in an unintelligible jargon, about one-third of 
which I understood, which enabled me to make out that she was 
the wife of a fisherman who lived there. 

"We ^Yalked on through the woods towards the church. 
Who would have expected to find a churcli on such an Island, 
among such impoverished people ? Yet here it was, a Eoman 
Catholic church. And here we came suddenly on a hand- 
some, youthful, vigorous, black-haired and black-bearded fellow, 


covered with a long garment as black as a raven, and a heart as 
light as a young lark's. He was wending his way to the church, 
at the sound of a bell, which measured twelve inches by nine 
in diameter, of about thirty pounds weight, which could never- 
theless be heard for a quarter of a mile. It was the festival 
among the Eoman Catholics of La Petite Fete de Dieu. The 
chapel was lighted with candles, and all the old women on the 
island had trudged from their distant dwellings, staff' in hand, 
backs bent with age, and eyes dimmed by time. They crossed 
their breasts and knelt before the tawdry images in the church, 
with so much simplicity and apparent sincerity of heart, that I 
could not help exclaiming to myself, ' Well, this is religion after 

" The priest, named Brunet, was from Quebec, and these islands 
belong to Lower Canada, but are under the jurisdiction of the 
Bishop of Halifax. He is a shrewd-looking fellow, and, if I do 
not mistake his character, with a good deal of the devil in him. 
He told us there were no reptiles on the island ; but we found 
by our own observations that he was mistaken, as he was also in 
the representations he made respecting the quadrupeds. This 
priest, who I hope is a good and worthy man, told us that the 
land is very poor, and destitute of game, and that the seal- 
fisheries were less pi-ofitable last year than common ; that there 
are about one hundred and sixty families on a dozen islands, 
and that cod, mackerel, and herring-fishing were the employ- 
ments of the inhabitants. One or two vessels come from 
Quebec yearly to collect the produce (of the sea). The priest 
said he led the life of a recluse here, but if we would accompany 
him to his boarding-house he would give us a glass of good 
French wine. 

" On our rambles we found the temperature on land quite 
agreeable, aild in sheltered situations the sun was warm and 
pleasant. The grass looked well, and strawberry blossoms were 
plenty. The woods, such as they were, were filled with warblers : 
the robin, thrush, finch, bunting, &c. The fox-tailed sparrow 
and siskin breed here, the hermit and tawny thrush crossed our 
path, the black-capped warbler gambolled over the pools, and 
even the wrens were everywhere. Of water-birds the great 
terns were abundant, and the piping plovers breed here. We 


also collected several species of land-snails, and some specimens 
of gypsum. We crossed the bay in the afternoon, and found a 
man who had some fox-skins for sale : he asked five pounds 
apiece for the black fox, and one dollar and iifty cents for the 
red skins. The woods here are small, scrubby evergreens, 
almost impenetrable and swampy beneath. Thermometer this 
evening 44°. 

" Jwwe 15. Day dawned with the weather dull, but the wind 
fair, and we pulled up anchor and left the Magdalene Islands for 
Labrador, the ultimatum of our present desires. About ten 
o'clock we saw on the distant horizon a speck, which I was told 
was the Eock ; the wind now freshened, and I could soon see it 
plainly from the deck, the top apparently covered with snow. 
Our pilot said that the snow, which seemed two or three feet 
thick, was the white gannets which resort there. I rubbed my 
eyes, and took my spy-glass, and instantly the strange picture 
stood before me. They were indeed birds, and such a mass of 
birds, and of such a size as I never saw before. The whole of 
my party were astonished, and all agreed that it was worth 
a voyage across the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of St. Lawrence 
to see such a sight. The nearer we approached, the greater was 
our surprise at the enormous number of these birds, all calmly 
seated on their eggs, and their heads turned to the windward 
towards us. The air for a hundred yards above, and for a long 
distance around, was filled with gannets on the wing, which 
fi-om our position made the air look as if it was filled with 
falling snowflakes, and caused a thick, foggy-like atmosphere 
all around the rock. The wind was too high to allow us to land, 
but we were so anxious to do so that some of the party made 
the attempt. The vessel was. brought to, and a whale-boat 
launched, and young Lincoln and John pushed off with clubs 
and guns ; the wind increased and rain set in, but they gained 
the lee of the rock, but after an hour's absence returned with- 
out landing. The air was filled with birds, but they did not 
perceptibly diminish the numbers on the rock. As the vessel 
drifted nearer the rock, we could see that the birds sat so close 
as almost to touch one another in regular lines, looking like so 
many mole-hills. The discharge of a gun had no effect on 
those which were not touched by the shot, for the noise of the 


birds stunned all those out of reach of the gun. But where the 
shot took effect the birds scrambled and flew off in such multi- 
tudes and such confusion that, whilst eight or ten were falling in 
the water dead or wounded, others shook down their eggs, 
which fell into the sea by hundreds in all directions. The sea 
became rougher, and the boat was compelled to return, bringing 
some birds and some eggs, but without the party being able to 
climb the rock. 

" The top of the main rock is a quarter of a mile wide from 
north to south, and a little narrower from east to west ; its ele- 
vation above the sea is between three and four hundred feet. 
The sea dashes around it with great violence : except in long 
calms it is extremely difficult to land on it, and much more 
difficult to climb to its platform. The whole surface was 
perfectly covered with nests, about two feet apart, in rows as 
regular as a potato field. The fishermen kill these birds and 
use their flesh for bait for cod-fish. The crews of several vessels 
unite, and, armed with clubs, as they reach the top of the rock 
the birds rise with a noise like thunder, and attempt to fly in 
such hurried confusion as to knock each other down, often 
piling one on another in a bank of many feet thickness. The 
men beat and kill them until they have obtained a supply, 
or wearied themselves. Six men in this way have killed five or 
six hundred in one hour. The birds are skinned and cut into 
junks, and the bait keeps good for a fortnight. Forty sail of 
fishermen annually supply themselves with bait from this rock 
in this way. By the twentieth of May the birds lay their eggs, 
and hatch about the twentieth of June. 

"June 17. The wind is blowing a gale, and nearly all my 
party is deadly sick. Thermometer 43°, and raining nearly 
all day. We laid to all night, and in the morning were in sight 
of Anticosti Island, distant about twenty miles. It soon became 
thick, and we lost sight of it. 

" June 18. The weather is calm, beautiful, and much warmer. 
We caught many cod-fish, which contained crabs of a curious 
structure. At six p.m. the wind sprung up fair, and we made 
all sail for Labrador. 

" June 19. I was on deck at three o'clock a.m:., and although 
the sun was not above the horizon it was quite light. The sea 


was literally coyered with foolish guillemots playing in the very 
spray under our bow, plunging as if in fun under it, and rising 
like spirits close under our rudder. The wind was fair, and the 
land in sight from aloft, and I now look forward to our landing 
on Labrador as at hand, and my thoughts are filled with ex- 
pectations of the new knowledge of birds and animals which I 
hope to acquire there. The Eipley sails well, but now she 
fairly skipped over the water. The cry of land soon made my 
heart bound with joy ; and as we approached it we saw what 
looked like many sails of vessels, but we soon found that they 
were snow-banks, and the air along the shore was filled with 
millions of velvet ducks and other aquatic birds, flying in long 
files a few yards above the water. 

" We saw one vessel at anchor, and the country looked well 
from the distance ; and as we neared the shore the thermo- 
meter rose from 44° to 60°, yet the appearance of the snow-drifts 
was forbidding. The shores appeared to be margined with a 
broad and handsome sand-beach, and we saw imaginary bears, 
wolves, and other animals ; scampering away on the rugged 
shore. About thirty boats were fishing, and we saw them 
throwing the fish on deck by thousands. 

"We soon reached the mouth of the Natasquan River,, where 
the Hudson Bay Company have a fishing establishment, and 
where no American vessel is allowed to come. The shore was 
filled with bark-covered huts, and some vessels were anchored 
within the sand-point which forms one side of the entrance to 
the river. We sailed on four miles further to the American 
harbour, and came to anchor in a beautiful bay, wholly secure 
from any winds. 

" And now we are positively at Labrador, lat. 50°, and farther 
north than I ever was before. But what a country ! When 
we landed and reached the summit we sank nearly up to our 
knees in mosses of different sorts, producing such a sensation 
as I never felt before. These mosses in the distance look like 
hard rocks, but under the foot they feel like a velvet cushion. 
We rambled about and searched in vain for a foot of square 
earth ; a poor, rugged, and miserable country ; the trees are 
wiry and scraggy dwarfs ; and when the land is not rocky it is 
boggy to a man's waist. All the islands about the harbour were 



of the same character, and we saw but few land birds — one 
pigeon, a few hawks, and smaller birds. The wild geese, eider- 
ducks, loons, and many other birds breed here. 

"June 19. The boats went off to neighbouring islands in 
search of birds and eggs, and I remained all day on board 
drawing. Eggers from Halifax had robbed nearly all the eggs. 

" The eider-ducks build their nests under the scraggy boughs 
of the fir-trees, which here grow only a few inches above the 
ground. The nests are scraped a few inches deep in the rotten 
moss which makes the soU, and the boughs have to be raised 
to find the nests. The eggs are deposited in down, and covered 
with down, and keep warm a long time in absence of the duck. 
They commonly lay six eggs. 

"June 20. The vessel roUs at her anchorage, and I have 
drawn as well as I could. Our party has gone up the Natasquan 
in search of adventures and birds. It seems strange to me 
that in this wonderfully wild country all the wild birds should 
be so shy. 

"June 21. To-day I went four miles to the falls of the 
little Natasquan River. The river is small, its water dark and 
irony, and its shores impenetrable woods, except here and there 
a small interval overgrown with a wiry grass, unfit for cattle, 
and of no use if it were, for there are no cattle here. We saw 
several nets in the river for catching salmon ; they are sifretched 
across the river, and the fish entangle their fins in trying to pass 
them, and cannot get away. We visited the hutg of the 
Canadian fishei-men of the Hudson Bay Company. They are 
clothed and fed, and receive eighty dollars a year besides, for 
their services. They have a cow, an ox, and one acre of potatoes 
planted. They report seven feet of snow in winter, and that 
only one-third as many salmon are taken now as ten years ago ; 
one hundred barrels now is regarded as a fair season. This 
river is twelve miles long, has three rapids, is broad, swift, and 
shallow, and discharges a quantity of fine gravelly sand. 

" June 22. Drew all day. Thermometer 60° at twelve. 
We are so far north that we have scarcely any darkness at night. 
Our party visited some large ponds on a neighbouring island j 
but they had neither fish, shells, nor grass about them ; the 
shore a reddish sand : saw only a few toads, and those pale- 


looking and poor. The country a barren rock as far as tlie eye 
could reach, and mosses of several species were a foot in depth. 
So sonorous is the song of the fox-coloured sparrow, that I 
heard it to-day while drawing in the cabin, from the distance of 
a quarter of a mile. The mosquitoes and black gnats are bad 
on shore. 

" June 23. We heard to-day that a party of four men from 
Halifax, last spring, took in two months four hundred thousand 
eggs, which they sold in Halifax at twenty-five cents a dozen. 
Last year upwards of twenty sail of vessels were engaged in 
this business ; and by this one may form some idea of the 
number of birds annually destroyed in this way, to say nothing 
of the millions of others disposed of by the numerous fleet of 
fishermen which yearly come to these regions, and lend their 
hand to swell the devastation. The eggers destroy all the eggs 
that are sat upon, to force the birds to lay fresh eggs, and by 
robbing them regularly compel them to lay until nature is ex- 
hausted, and so but few young ones are raised. These wonderful 
nurseries must be finally destroyed, and in less than half a 
century, unless some kind government interpose to put a stop to 
all this shameful destruction. The wind blows here from the 
south-east, and it brings rain continually." 

The following episode epitomizes what Audubon saw or 
learned about the men engaged in hunting eggs on those wild 
and desolate islands. 

s 2 



Labeadoe Episodes : The Eggees op Labeadok. 

" The distinctive appellation of ' eggers ' is given to certain 
persons who follow principally or exclusively the avocation of 
procuring eggs of wild birds, with the view of disposing of them 
at some distant port. Their great object is to plunder every 
nest, whenever they can find it, no matter where, and at what- 
ever risk. They are the pest of the feathered tribes, and their 
brutal propensity to destroy the poor creatures after they have 
robbed them is abundantly gratified whenever an opportunity 
presents itself. Much had been said to me respecting these 
destructive pirates before I visited the coast of Labrador, but I 
could not entirely credit all their cruelties until I had actually 
witnessed their proceedings, which were such as to inspire no 
small degree of horror. But you shall judge for yourself. 

" See yon shallop shyly sailing along ; she sneaks like a thief, 
wishing, as it were, to shun the very light of heaven. Under 
the lee of every rocky isle some one at the tiller steers her 

" Were his trade an honest one he would not think of hiding 
his back behind the terrific rocks that seem to have been placed 
there as a resort to the myriads of birds that annually visit this 
desolate region of the earth for the purpose of rearing their 
young at a distance from all disturbers of their peace. How 
unlike the open, bold, the honest mariner, whose face needs no 
mask, who scorns to skulk under any circumstances ! The vessel 


herself is a shabby thing ; her sails are patched with stolen pieces 
of better canvas, the owners of which have probably been stranded 
on some inhospitable coast, and have been plundered, perhaps 
murdered, by the wretches before us. Look at her again. Her 
sides are neither painted nor even pitched ; no, they are daubed 
over, plastered and patched with stripes of seal-skins, laid along 
the seams. Her deck has never been washed or sanded, her 
hold — for no cabin has she — ^though at present empty, sends 
forth an odour pestilential as that of a charnel-house. The 
crew, eight in number, lie sleeping at the foot of their tottering 
mast, regardless of the repairs needed in every part of her 
rigging. But see ! she scuds along, and, as I suspect her crew 
to be bent on the commission of some evil deed, let us follow 
her to the first harbour. There rides the filthy thing ! The 
afternoon is half over. Her crew have thrown their boat over- 
board ; they enter and seat themselves, one with a rusty gun. 
One of them sculls the skiflF towards an island, for a century 
past the breeding-place of myriads of guillemots, which are 
now to be laid under contribution. At the approach of the vile 
thieves, clouds of birds rise from the rock and fill the air around, 
wheeling and screaming over their enemies ; yet thousands 
remain in an erect posture, each covering its single egg, the 
hope of both parents. The reports of several muskets loaded 
with heavy shot are now heard, while several dead and wounded 
birds fall heavily on the rock or into the water. Instantly all 
the sitting birds rise and fly off a&ighted to their companions 
above, and hover in dismay over their assassins, who walk 
forward exultingly, and with their shouts mingling oaths and 
execrations. Look at them! See how they crush the chick 
within its shell ! how they trample on every egg in their way 
with their huge and clumsy boots ! Onwards they go, and when 
they leave the isle not an egg that they can find is left 
entire. The dead birds they collect and carry to their boat. 
Now they have regained their filthy shallop, they strip the 
birds by a single jerk of their feathery apparel, while the flesh 
is yet warm, and throw them on some coals, where in a short 
time they are broiled : the rum is produced when the guille- 
mots are fit for eating, and after stuffing themselves with 
this oUy fare, and enjoying the pleasures of beastly intoxi- 


cation, over they tumble on the deck of their crazed craft, where 
they pass the short hours of night in turbid slumber. The 
sun now rises above the snow-clad summit of the eastern mount ; 
'sweet is the breath of morn,' even in this desolate land. The 
gay bunting erects his white crest, and gives utterance to the 
joy he feels in the presence of his brooding mate ; the willow 
grons on the rock crows his challenge aloud ; each floweret, 
chilled by the night air, expands its pure petals ; the gentle 
breeze shakes from the blades of grass the heavy dewdrops. 
On the Guillemot Isle the birds have again settled, and now 
renew their loves. Startled by the light of day, one of the 
eggers springs on his feet, and rouses his companions, who 
stare around them for awhile, endeavouring to recollect their 
senses. Mark them, as with clumsy fingers they clear their 
drowsy eyes ; slowly they rise on their feet. See how the 
lubbers stretch out their arms and yawn; you shrink back, 
for verily 'that throat might frighten a, shark.' But the 
master, soon recollecting that so many eggs are worth a dollar 
or a crown, casts his eye towards the rock, marks the day in 
his memory, and gives orders to depart. The light breeze 
enables them to reach another harbour, a few miles distant.; one 
which, like the last, lies concealed from the ocean by some 
other rocky isle. Arrived there, they react the scene of 
yesterday, crushing every egg they can find. For a week each 
night is passed in drunkenness and brawls, until, having reached 
the last breeding-place on the coast, they return, touch at every 
isle in succession, shoot as many birds as they need, collect the 
fresh eggs, and lay in a cargo. At every step each ruffian picks 
up an egg, so beautiful that any man with a feeling heart 
would pause to consider the motive which could induce him to 
carry it off. But nothing of this sort occurs to the ^ger, who 
gathers and gathers untQ he has swept the rock bare. The 
dollars alone chink in his sordid mind, and he assiduously plies 
the trade which no man would ply who had the talents and 
industry to procure subsistence by honourable means. With a 
bark nearly filled with fresh eggs they proceed to the principal 
rock, that on which they first landed. But what is their surprise 
when they find others there helping themselves as industriously 
as they can ! In boiling rage they charge their guns, and ply 


their oars. Landing on the rock, they run up to the eggers, 
who, like themslves, are desperadoes. The first question is a 
discharge of musketry ; the answer another : now, man to man, 
they fight like tigers. One is carried to his craft with a frac- 
tured skull, another limps with a shot in his leg, and a third 
feels how many of his teeth have been driven through the hole 
in his cheek. At last, however, the quarrel is settled, the booty 
is to be equally divided ; and now see them all drinking 
together. Oaths and curses and filthy jokes are all that you 
hear ; but see ! stuffed with food, and reeling with drink, down 
they drop, one by one ; groans and execrations from the 
wounded mingle with the snorings of the heavy sleepers. 
There let the brutes lie ! Again it is dawn, but no one 
stirs. The sun is high ; one by one they open their heavy 
eyes, stretch their limbs, yawn and raise themselves from the 
deck. But see' a goodly company. A hundred honest fisher- 
men, who for months past have fed on salt meat, have felt 
a desire to procure some eggs. Gallantly their boats 
advance, impelled by- the regular pull of their long oars. 
Each buoyant bark displays the flag of its nation. No weapon 
do they bring, nor anything that can be used as such, save their 
oars and fists. Cleanly clad in Sunday attire, they arrive at 
the desired spot, and at once prepare to ascend the rock. The 
eggers, now numbering a dozen, all armed with guns and 
bludgeons, bid defiance to the fishermen. A few angry words 
pass between the parties. One of the eggers, still under the 
influence of drink, pulls his trigger, and an unfortunate sailor is 
seen to reel in agony. Three loud cheers fill the air. All at 
once rush on the malefactors i a horrid fight ensues, the result 
of which is that every egger is left on the rock beaten and 
bruised. Too frequently the fishermen man their boats, row to 
the shallops, and break every egg in the hold. The eggers of 
Labrador not only rob the birds in this cruel manner, but also 
the fishermen, whenever they can find an opportunity ; and the 
quarrels they excite are numberless. While we were on the 
coast none of our party ever ventured on any of the islands, 
which these wretches call their own, without being well provided 
with means of defence. On one occasion when I was present 
we found two eggers at their work of destruction. I spoke to 


them respecting my visit, and offered them premiums for rare 
birds and some of their eggs; but although they made fair 
promises, not one of the gang ever came near the Ripley. These 
people gather all the eider-down they can find, yet, so incon- 
siderate are they, that they kill every bird that comes in their 
way. The puffins and some other birds they massacre in vast 
numbers for the sake of their feathers. The eggs of gulls, 
guillemots, and ducks are searched for with care also. So con- 
stant and persevering are their depredations, that these species, 
which, according to the accounts of the few settlers I saw in the 
country, were exceedingly abundant twenty years ago, have 
abandoned their ancient breeding-places, and removed much 
farther north, in search of peaceful security. Scarcely, in fact, 
could I procure a young guillemot before the eggers had left 
the coast, nor was it until late in July that I succeeded, after 
the birds had laid three or four eggs each instead of one, and 
when nature having been exhausted, and the season nearly 
spent, thousands of these birds left the country without having 
accomplished the purpose for which they had visited it. This 
war of extermination cannot last many years more. The eggers 
themselves will be the first to repent the entire disappearance 
of the myriads of birds that made the coast of Labrador their 
summer residence, and unless they follow the persecuted tribes 
to the northward they must renounce their trade." 


Notes m Labeadoe — Indians — Indian Camp — Civilities on Boaed the 


IN THE Dbsbkt — Audubon begins to feel Old — Winds and Eain — 
ExcuESiONS on Shoke — ^Debaey Prospects — Hut op a Labeadoe 
Seal-Oatohee — Geeat Maoatinb Islands — Oppicees' Bivouac 


" June 23. We met here two large boats loaded with Moun- 
taineer Indians, about twenty, old and young, male and female. 
The boats had small canoes lashed to their sides, like whale 
boats, for seal fishing. The men were stout and good-looking, 
and spoke tolerable French, their skins were redder and clearer 
than any other Indians I have ever seen. The women also 
appeared cleaner than usual, their hair was braided, and dangled 
over their shoulders, like so many short ropes. They were all 
dressed in European costumes except their feet, on which coarse 
moccasins made of seal skin supplied the place of shoes. 

" On leaving the harbour this morning, we saw a black man- 
of-war-like looking vessel entering it, bearing the English flag ; 
it proved to be the Quebec cutter. I wrote a note to the 
commander, sent him my card, and requested an interview. 
He proved to be Captain Bayfield of the Eoyal Navy, the vessel 
was the Gulnare, and he replied that he would receive me in 
two hours. After dinner, taking some credentials in my pocket, 
I went aboard of the Gulnare, was politely received, and in- 
troduced to the surgeon, who seemed a man of ability, and is a 
student of botany and conchology. Thus the lovers of nature 


meet everywhere, but surely I did not expect to meet a natu- 
ralist on the Labrador station. The first lieutenant is a student 
of ornithology, and is making collections. I showed a letter 
from the Duke of Sussex to the captain, and after a pleasant 
hour, and a promise from him to do anything in his power to 
aid us, I returned to our vessel. 

" June 24. It was our intention to leave this harbour to-day 
for one fifty miles east, but the wind is ahead, and I have drawn 
all day. Shattuch and I took a walk over the dreary hills 
towards evening, and we found several flowers in bloom, among 
which was a small species of the Kulnua Glauca. We visited 
the camp of the Mountaineer Indians about half a mile from us, 
and found them skinning seals, and preparing their flesh for use, 
We saw a robe the size of a good blanket made of seal 'skin, 
and tanned so soft and beautiful with the hair on, that it was 
as pleasant to the touch as a fine kid glove. They refused to 
sell it. The chief of this party is well informed, talks French 
so as to be understood, is a fine-looking fellow, about forty years 
old, and has a good-looking wife and baby. His brother also is 
married, and has several sons between fourteen and twenty. 
The whole group consists of about twenty persons. They came 
and saluted us soon after we landed, and to my astonishment 
offered us a glass of rum. The women were all seated outside 
of their tents, unpacking bundles of clothing and provisions. 
We entered one tent, and seated ourselves before a blazing fire, 
the smoke of which escaped through the top of the apartment. 
To the many questions I put to the chief and his brother, the 
following is the substance of his answers. 

" The country from this place to the nearest settlement of 
the Hudson Bay Company is as barren and rocky as this about 
us. Very large lakes of water abound two hundred miles 
inland from the sea : these lakes contain carp, trout, white fish, 
and many mussels unfit to eat ; the latter are described as 
black outside and purple within, and are no doubt ' unios.' Not 
a bush is to be met with ; and the Indians who now and then 
cross that region carry their tent-poles with them, and also 
their canoes, and burn moss for fuel. So tedious is the travel- 
ling said to be, that not more than ten miles a day can be 
accomplished, and when the journey is made in two months, it 


is considered a good one, Wolves and black bears abound, but 
no deer nor caraboos are seen, and not a bird of any kind 
except wild geese and brants about the lakes, where they 
breed. When the journey is undertaken in winter, they go on 
snow shoes, without canoes. Fur animals are scarce, but a few 
beavers and otters, martins and sables, are caught, and some 
foxes and lynxes, while their numbers yearly diminish. Thus 
the Fur Company may be called the exterminating medium of 
these wild and almost uninhabitable regions, which cupidity or 
the love of money alone would induce man to venture into. 
Where can I now go and find nature undisturbed ? 

" June 25. Drawing all day until five o'clock, when I went to 
dine on board the Gulnare ; quite a bore to shave and dress in 
Labrador. The company consisted of the captain, doctor, and 
three other officers ; we had a good sea dinner, du cot and du 
mouton, de bon vin, et du tabac, excellent, of which I took a 
pinch or two. Conversation turned on botany, politics, and the 
Established Church of England, and ranged away to hatching 
eggs by steam. I saw the maps the officers are making of the 
coast, and was struck with the great accuracy of the shape of 
our perfect harbour. I returned to our vessel at ten in the 
evening ; the weather is warm, and the mosquitoes abundant 
and hungry. 

" Jwrne 26. We have now been waiting five days for a fair 
wind to take us eastward in our explorations. The waters of aU 
the streams we have seen are of a rusty colour, probably derived 
from the decomposing mosses which form the soil on the rocks. 
The rivers seem to be the drain from swamps fed by rain and 
melting snow ; the soil in the low grounds is of quite a peaty 
nature. The freshets take down sand and gravel from the de- 
composed rocks, and form bars at the mouths of all the rivers. 
Below the mouth of each stream is the best fishing ground for 
cod fish. They accumulate there to feed on the fry which 
run into the rivers to deposit their spawn, and which they 
follow again to sea, when they return to strike out into deep 

"It is quite remarkable how shy the agents of the Fur 
Company here are of strangers. They refused to sell me a 
salmon ; and one of them told me he would be discharged if it 


were known he had done so. They evade all questions re- 
specting the interior of the country, and indeed tell the most 
absurd things to shock you, and cut short inquiries. This is 
probably to prevent strangers from settling here, or interfering 
with their monopoly." 

Much of the journal of these dates in Labrador is taken up 
with an account of the birds, and nests, and eggs found here, 
and matters relating to ornithology. But as these notes were 
used by Mr. Audubon in compiling his "Biographies of the 
Birds," we have omitted them here, and used only that part 
of the records which has a more general interest. 

" Jwne 27. The morning dawned above rain and fogs, which 
so enveloped us below that we could scarcely discern the shore, 
distant only a hundred yards. Drawing all day. 

" June 28. The weather shocking, rainy, foggy, dark, and 
cold. Began drawing a new finch I discovered, and outlined 
another. At twelve the wind suddenly changed, and caused 
such a swell and rolling of the vessel, that I had to give up my 
drawing. After dinner the wind hauled to the south-west, and 
all was bustle, heaving up anchor, loosing sails, and getting 
ready for sea. We were soon under weigh, and went out of the 
harbour in good style ; but the sea was high, and we were glad 
to go to our beds. 

" Jwne 29. At three o'clock this morning we were about fifteen 
miles from land, and fifty from American Harbour. The ther- 
mometer was 54°, and the wind light and favourable ; at ten 
the breeze freshened, but our pilot did not know the land, and 
the captain had to find a harbour for himself. We passed near 
an island covered with foolish guillemots, and came to for the 
purpose of landing on it, which we did through a great surf ; 
there we found two eggers searching the rocks for eggs. They 
told us they visited all the islands in the vicinity, and obtained 
fresh eggs every day. They had eight hundred dozen, and 
expected to increase them to two thousand dozen before they 
returned to Halifax. The quantities of broken eggs on this and 
all the islands where eggs are obtained causes a stench which 
is scarcely endurable. From this island we went to another 
about a mile distant, and caught many birds and collected 
many eggs. 


"June 30. I have drawn three birds to-day since eight 
o'clock. Thermometer 50°. 

" July 1. The thermometer 48° and the weather so cold that 
it has been painful for me to draw, but I worked all day. 

" July 2. A beautiful day for Labrador. Went ashore and 
killed nothing, but was pleased with what I saw. The country 
is so grandly wild and desolate, that I am charmed by its 
wonderful dreariness. Its mossy gray-clad rocks, heaped and 
thrown together in huge masses, hanging on smaller ones, as if 
about to roll down from their insecure resting-places into the sea 
below them. Bays without end, sprinkled with thousands of 
rocky inlets of all sizes, shapes, and appearances, and wild bii'ds 
everywhere, was the scene presented before me. Besides this 
there was a peculiar cast of the uncertain sky, butterflies flitting 
over snow-banks, and probing unfolding dwarf flowerets of many 
hues pushing out their tender stems through the thick beds of 
moss which everywhere cover the granite rock. Then there is 
the morass, wherein you plunge up to your knees, or the walking 
over the stubborn, dwarfish shrubbery, whereby one treads 
down the forests of Labrador ; and the unexpected bunting or 
Sylvia which perchance, and indeed as if by chance alone, you 
now and then see flying before you, or hear singing from the 
ground creeping plant. The beautifid fresh-water lakes, de- 
posited on the rugged crests of greatly elevated islands, wherein 
the red and black divers swim as proudly as swans do in other 
latitudes; and wherein the fish appear to have been cast as 
strayed beings from the surplus food of the sea. All, all is 
wonderfully wild and grand, ay, terrific. And yet how beauti- 
ful it is now, when your eye sees the wild bee, moving from one 
flower to another in search of food, which doubtless is as sweet 
to her as the essence of the orange and magnolia is to her 
more favoured sister in Louisiana. The little ring-plover 
rearing its delicate and tender young ; the eider duck swimming 
man-of-war-like amid her floating brood, like the guard-ship of 
a most valuable convoy ; the white-crowned bunting's sonorous 
note reaching your ears ever and anon ; the crowds of sea-birds 
in search of places wherein to repose or to feed. I say how 
beautiful all this, in this wonderful rocky desert at this season, 
the beginning of July, compared with the horrid blasts of winter 


which here predominate by the will of God; when every 
rock is hidden beneath snow so deep, that every step the 
traveller takes, he is in danger of falling into his grave ; while 
avalanches threaten him from above, and if he lifts his eyes to 
the horizon, he sees nothing but dark clouds filled with frost 
and snow, and inspiring him with a feeling of despair. 

" July 3. We have had a stiff easterly wind all day, rainy, 
and the water so rough we could not go ashore, for plants to 
draw, untU late in the afternoon. The view of the sea from the 
highest rocks was grand, the small islands were covered with 
the foam and surf thrown up by the agitated ocean. Thank 
God that we are not tossing on its billows. 

" July 4. Two parties went out to-day to get birds and plants, 
and I remained on board all day drawing. Captain Bayfield 
sent us a quarter of mutton for our fourth of July dinner, and I 
dare say it is a rarity on this coast of Labrador, even on this 

" July 5. Thermometer 50°. I drew from four o'clock this 
morning until three this afternoon, and then went on an 
expedition for a few miles to a large rough island, which I 
traversed until I was weary, for walking on this spongy moss of 
Labrador is a task no one can imagine without trying it ; at 
every step the foot sinks in a deep moss cushion, which closes 
over it, and requires considerable exertion to draw it up. When 
the moss is over a marshy tract, then you sink a couple of feet 
deep every step you take, and to reach a bare rock is delightful, 
and quite a relief. This afternoon the country looked more 
terrifyingly wild than ever, the dark clouds throwing their 
shadows on the stupendous masses of rugged rocks, presented 
one of the wildest pictures of nature that the eye can find to 
look on anywhere. 

"July 6. Thermometer 48°. At noon my fingers were so 
cold that I could no longer hold my pencil to draw, and I was 
compelled to go on shore for exercise. The fact is I am growing 
old too fast, alas ! I feel it, and yet work I will, and may God 
grant me life to see the last plate of my mammoth work 

" July 7. Drawing all day ; finished the female grouse and 
five young ones, and preparing the male bird. 


" July 8. Eainy, dirty weather, wind east, thermometer 48°. 
Began drawing at haK-past three a.m, but my condition very 
disagreeable in such weather. The fog collects and Mis in large 
drops from the rigging on my table, and now and then I am 
obliged to close the skylight, and work almost in darkness. Not- 
withstanding, I have finished my plate of the cock ptarmigan. 

" July 9. The wind east, wet, disagreeable, and foggy. This 
is the most wonderful climate in the world ; the thermometer 
52°, mosquitoes in profusion, plants blooming by millions, and 
at every step you tread on flowers such as would be looked on 
in more temperajle climates with pleasure. I only wish I could 
describe plants as well as I can the habits of birds. I have 
drawn all day on the loon, a most difficult bird to imitate. 

" July 10. Thermometer 54°. Gould I describe one of those 
dismal gales which blow ever and anon over this dismal 
country, it would probably be interesting to any one unac- 
quainted with the inclemency of this climate. Nowhere else. 
,are the north-east bliasts, which sweep over Labrador, felt as 
they are here. But I cannot describe them. All I can say is, 
that while we are safe in a land-locked harbour, their effects on 
our vessel are so strong, that they will not allow me to draw, 
and sometimes send some of us to our beds. And what the 
force of these horrid blasts outside of the harbour at sea is I 
can hardly imagine ; but it seems as if it would be impossible 
for any vessel to ride safely before them, and that they will 
rend these rocky islands asunder. The rain is driven in sheets, 
and falls with difficulty upon its destination of sea or land. 
Nay, I cannot call it rain, as it is such a thick cloud of water, 
that all objects at a distance are lost sight of at intervals of 
three or four minutes, and the waters around us come up and 
beat about in our rock-bound harbour, as a newly caught and 
caged bird beats against the wire walls of his prison cage. 

"July 11. The gale or hurricane of yesterday subsided about 
midnight, and at sunrise this morning the sky was clear and 
the horizon fiery red. It was my intention to have gone one 
hundred miles further north, but our captain says I must be 
content here. 

" On rambling over the numerous bays and inlets, which are 
scattered by thousands along this coast, as pebbles are on a 


common sand beach, one sees immense beds of round stones 
(boulders ?) of all sizes, and some of large dimensions, rolled 
side by side, and piled up in heaps, as if cast there by some 
great revolution of nature. I have seen many such places, and 
always look pn them with astonishment, because they seem to 
have been vomited up by the sea, and cast hundreds of yards 
inland, by its powerful retchings ; and this gives some idea of 
what a hurricane at Labrador can do. 

" July 12. Thermometer 48°, and it is raining hard, and 
blowing another gale from the east, and the vessel rocks so 
much that I am unable to finish my drawing. 

" July 13. Eose this morning at half-past three, and found 
the wind north-east, and but little of it. The weather is cloudy 
and dull, as it is always here after a storm. I was anxious to 
stay on board, and finish the drawing of a grouse I had promised 
to Dr. Kelly of the Gulnare. But at seven the wind changed, 
and we prepared to leave our fine harbour. We beat out to sea, 
and made our course for the harbour of Little Macatine, distant 
forty-three miles. By noon the wind died away, but the sea 
rolled, and we were all sea-sick, and glad to go to our berths. 

" July 14. Awoke this morning to-find a cold north-east wind 
blowing, and ourselves twenty miles from our destination, a 
heavy sea beating against the vessel's bows, as she is slowly 
beating tack after tack against the wind. We are in despair of 
reaching our destination to-day. Towards evening however the 
wind favoured us, and as we approached the island, it proved 
the highest land we have seen, and looked rugged and horrid. 

" When we came within a mile and a half of the shore we 
took a small boat, and pushed off for the land. As we came 
near it, the rocks appeared stupendously high and rough, and 
frowned down on our little boat, as we moved along and doubled 
the little cape which made one side of the entrance of Macatine's 
Harbour, but it looked so small to me, that I doubted if it were 
the place ; and the shores were horribly wild, fearfully high 
and rough, and nothing but the croaking of a pair of ravens was 
heard mingling with the dismal sound of the surge which 
dashed on the rocky ledges, and sent the foaming water into 
the air. 

"By the time we reached the shore the wind began to 


freshen, the Eipley's sails now swelled, and she cut her way 
through the water, and rounded the point of land which formed 
part of the harbour, and shot ahead towards the place where we 
were standing. Our harbour represents the bottom of a large 
bowl, in the centre of which our vessel is anchored, surrounded 
by rocks full a thousand feet high, and the wildest looking 
place I was ever in. We went aboard, ate a hasty supper, and 
all scampered ashore again, and climbed the nearest hills. But 
John, Shattuck, and myself went up the harbour, and ascended 
to the top of a mountain (for I cannot call it a hill), and there 
we saw the crest of the island beneath our feet, all rocks, 
barren, bare rocks, wild as the wildest Apennines. The moss 
was only a few inches deep, and the soil beneath it so moist, 
that whenever the declivities were much inclined, the whole 
slipped from under us like an avalanche, and down we would 
slide for feet, and sometimes yards. The labour of climbing 
was excessive, and at the bottom of each ravine the scrub 
bushes intercepted us for twenty or thirty paces, and we 
scrambled over them with great effort and fatigue. On our 
return we made one slide of forty or fifty feet, and brought up 
in a little valley or pit filled with moss and mire. 

" July 15. We rose and breakfasted at three o'clock, every 
one being eager to go ashore and explore this wild country. 
But the wind was east, and the prospects of fine weather not 
good. But two boats' crews of young men rowed off in different 
directions, while I renewed my drawing. By ten the rain 
poured, and the boats returned. 

"July 16. Another day of dirty weather, and obliged to 
remain on board nearly all the day. Thermometer 52°, mos- 
quitoes plenty. This evening the fog is so thick, that we 
cannot see the summit of the rocks around us. 

" July 17. Mosquitoes so annoyed me last night that I did 
not close my eyes. I tried the deck of the vessel, and although 
the fog was as thick as fine rain, the air was filled with these 
insects, and I went below and fought them until daylight, when 
I had a roaring fire made and got rid of them. I have been 
drawing part of the day, and besides several birds, I have out- 
lined one of the mountainous hills near our vessel, as a back- 
ground to my willow grouse. 



" July 18. After breakfast, all hands except the cook left the 
Ripley, in three boats, to visit the main shore, about five miles 
off. The fog was thick, but the wind promised fair weather, 
and soon fulfilled its promise. Directly after landing our party 
found a large extent of marsh land, the first we have seen in 
this country ; the soil was wet, our feet sank in it, and walking 
was tiresome. We also crossed a large savannah of many miles 
in extent. Its mosses were so wet and spongy, that I never in 
my life before experienced so much difficulty in travelling. In 
many places the soil appeared to wave and bend under us like 
old ice in the spring of the year, and we expected at each step 
to break through the surface, and sink into the mire below. In 
the middle of this quagmire we met with a fine small grove of 
good-sized white birch trees, and a few pines full forty feet high, 
quite a novelty in this locality. 

" From the top of a high rock I obtained a good view of the 
most extensive and dreary wilderness I ever beheld. It chilled 
the heart to gaze on these barrens of Labrador. Indeed I now 
dread every change of harbour, so horridly rugged and dangerous 
is the whole coast and country to the eye, and to the experienced 

Ean either of the sea or the land. Mosquitoes, many species of 
jrse-flies, small bees, and black gnats fill the air. The frogs 
oaked, and yet the thermometer was not above 55°. This is 
^ne of the real wonders of this extraordinary country. The 
|)arties in the boats, hunting all day, brought back but nineteen 
birds, and we all concluded that no one man could provide food 
for himself here from the land alone. 

" July 19. Cold, wet, blowing, and too much motion of the 
vessel for drawing. In the evening it cleared up a little, and I 
went ashore, and visited the hut of a seal-fisher. We climbed 
over one rocky precipice and fissure after another, holding on to 
the moss with both hands and feet, for about a mile, when we 
came to the deserted hut of a Labrador seal-catcher. It looked 
snug outside, and we walked in ; it was floored with short slabs, 
all very well greased with seal oil. A fire-oven without a pipe, 
a salt-box hung to a wooden peg, a three-legged stool for a 
table, and wooden box for a bedstead, were all its furniture. 
An old fiour-barrel, containing some hundreds of seine floats, 
and an old seal seine, comprized the assets of goods and chattels. 


Three small windows, with four panes of glass each, were still 
in pretty good order, and so was the low door, which swung on 
wooden hinges, for which I will be bound the maker had asked 
for no patent. The cabin was made of hewn logs, brought from 
the mainland, about twelve feet square, and well put together. 
It was roofed with birch bark and spruce, well thatched with 
moss a foot thick ; every chink was crammed with moss, and 
every aperture rendered air-tight with oakum. But it was 
deserted and abandoned. The seals are all caught, and the 
sealers have nothing to do'now-a-days. We found a pile of 
good hard wood close to the cabin, and this we hope to appro- 
priate to-morrow. I found out that the place had been in- 
habited by two Canadians, by the chalk marks on the walls, 
and their almanac on one of the logs ran thus : L 24, M 25, 
M 26, 1 27, V 28, S 29, D 30, giving the first letter of the day 
of the week. On returning to the vessel, I stopped several 
times to look on the raging waves rolling in upon these 
precipitous rocks below us, and thought how dreadful it would 
be for any one to be wrected on this inhospitable shore. The 
surges of surf which rolled in on the rocks were forty or fifty 
feet high where they dashed on the precipices beneath us, and 
any vessel cast ashore there must have been immediately 
dashed to pieces. 

" July 20. The country of Labrador deserves credit for one 
fine day. This has been, until evening, calm, warm, and really 
such a day as one might expect in the middle states about the 
middle of May. I drew until ten o'clock, and then made a trip 
to the island next to us, and shot several birds. We passed 
several small bays, where we found vast quantities of stones 
thrown up by the sea, and some of them of enormous size. I 
now think that these stones are brought from the sea on the 
thick drift ice, or icebergs, which come down from the arctic 
regions, and are driven in here and broken by the jagged rocks ; 
they are stranded, and melt, and leave these enormous pebbles 
in layers from ten to one hundred feet deep. 

" July 21. I write now from a harbour which has no name, 
for we have inistaken it for the one we were looking for, which 
lies two miles east of this. But it matters little, for the coast 
of Labrador is all alike, comfortless, cold, and foggy. We left 

T 2 


the Little Macatine this morning at five o'clock, with a stiff 
south-west breeze, and by ten dropped anchor where we now are. 
As we doubled the cape of the island called Great Macatine, 
we had the pleasure of meeting the officers of the Gulnare, in 
two boats, engaged in surveying the coast. We made an 
excursion into the island, but found nothing of interest. 

" In the evening we visited the officers of the Gulnare, en- 
camped in tents on shore, living in great comfort ; the tea- 
things were yet on the iron bedstead which served as a table, 
the trunks formed their seats, and the clothes-bags their cushions 
and pillows. Their tent was made of tarred cloth, which ad- 
mitted neither wind nor rain. It was a comfortable camp, and 
we were pleased to find ourselves on the coast of Labrador in 
company with intelligent officers of the royal navy of England, 
gentlemen of education and refined manners ; it was indeed a 
treat, a precious one. We talked of the wild country around 
us, and of the enormous destruction of everything which is 
going on here, except of the rocks ; of the aborigines, who are 
melting away before the encroachments of a stronger race, as 
the wild animals are disappearing before them. Some one 
said, it is rum which is destroying the poor Indians, I replied, 
I think not, they are disappearing here from insufficiency of 
food and physical comforts, and the loss of all hope, as he loses 
sight of all that was abundant before the white man came, 
intruded on his land, and his herds of wild animals, and deprived 
him of the furs with which he clothed himself. Nature herself 
is perishing. Labrador must shortly be depopulated, not only 
of her aboriginal men, but of every thing and animal which has 
life, and attracts the cupidity of men. When her fish, and 
game, and birds are gone, she will be left alone like an old 
worn-out field." 


Notes in Labbador — Whaleks — Seal-killing — Esquimaux Does — Bieds 
AND Animals of Labrador — A Seal Station — Bras d'Or Harbour — 
The Fishers— Esquimaux Sledges and Dogs — Notes in the In- 
terior — Young Birds — Hurricanes — Icebergs — Glimpses of the 
Trees — Notes on Natural History. 

"July 22. This morning Captain Bayfield and his officers 
came alongside to bid us good-bye, to pursue their labours 
further westward. After breakfast we manned three boats, and 
went to explore a small harbour about one mile east of our 
anchorage.- There we found a whaling schooner, fifty-five tons 
burthen, from Cape Gaspe. We found the men employed in 
boiling blubber in a large iron vessel like a sugar-boiler. The 
blubber lay in heaps on the shore, in junks of six or eight 
pounds each, looking filthy enough. The captain or owner of 
the vessel appeared to be a good sensible man of his class, and 
cut off for me some strips of the whale's skin from under, the 
throat, with large and curious barnacles attached to the skin. 
They had struck four whales, and three had sunk, and were lost 
to them. This, the men said, Avas a very rare occurrence. We 
found, also, at this place, a French Canadian seal-catcher, from 
whom I gathered the following information. 

" This portion of Labrador is free to any one to settle on, and 
he and another person had erected a cabin, and had nets and 
traps to catch seals and foxes, and guns to shoot bears and 
wolves. They take their quarry to Quebec, receiving fifty cents 
a gallon for seal oil, and from three to five guineas for black 


and silver fox skins, and others in proportion. In the months 
of NoTember and December, and indeed until spring, they kill 
seals in large numbers ; seventeen men belonging to their party 
killed twenty-five hundred seals once in three days. This great 
feat was done with short sticks, and each seal was killed with a 
single blow on the snout, whilst lying on the edges of the 
floating or field ice. The seals are carried home on sledges 
drawn by Esquimaux dogs, which are so well tramed that, on 
reaching home, they push the seals from the sledges with their 
noses, and return to the killers with regular despatch. (This, 
reader, is hearsay !) At' other times the seals are driven into 
nets, one after another, until the poor animals become so 
hampered and confined, that they are easily and quickly dis- 
patched with guns. The captain showed me a spot, within a 
few yards of his log cabin, where last winter he caught six fine 
large silver-gray foxes. Bears and caraboos abound during 
winter, and also wolves, hares, and porcupines. The wolves 
are of a dun colour, very ferocious and daring ; a pack of thirty 
followed a man to his cabin, and they have several times killed 
his dogs at his own door. I was surprised at this, because his 
dogs were as large as any wolves I have ever seen. These dogs 
are extremely tractable, so much so that, when geared into a 
sledge, the leader immediately starts at the word of command 
for any given course, and the whole pack gallop off at the rate 
of seven or eight miles an hour. The Esquimaux dogs howl 
like wolves, and are not at all like our common dogs. They 
were extremely gentle, and came to us, and jumped on and 
caressed us as if we were old acquaintances. They do not take 
to the water, and are fit only for draught and the chase of 
caraboos ; and they are the only dogs which can at aU near the 
caraboo while running. 

" As soon as winter storms and thick ice closes the harbours 
and the intermediate spaces between the mainland and the sea 
islands, the caraboos are seen moving on the ice in great herds, 
first to the islands, where the snow is most likely to be drifted, 
because there in the shallows — from which the snow has blown 
away — ^he easily scrapes down to the mosses, which at this 
season are the only food they can find. As the severity of 
winter increases, these animals follow the coast north-west, and 


gradually reach a comparatively milder climate. But notwith- 
standing all this, on their return in the spring, which is as 
regular as the migration of the birds, they are so poor and 
emaciated, that the men take pity on them, and will not kill 
them. Merciful beings, these white men ! They spare life 
when the flesh is off from their bones, and there is no market 
for their bones at hand. 

"The otter is tolerably abundant here. These are chiefly 
trapped at the foot of the waterfalls, to which they resort, being 
the latest to freeze, and the earliest to thaw in spring. A few 
martins and sables are caught, but every year reduces their 
number. This Frenchman receives his supplies from Quebec, 
where he sends his furs and oil. The present time he calls 
' the idle season,' and he loiters about his cabin, lies in the sun- 
shine like a seal, eats, drinks, and sleeps his life away, careless 
of the busy world, and of all that is going on there. His 
partner has gone to Quebec, and his dogs are his only com- 
panions until he returns ; and the dogs, perhaps, are the better 
animal of the two. He has selected a delightful site for his 
castle, under the protection of an island, and on the south side, 
where I found the atmosphere quite warm, and the vegetation 
actually rank, for I saw plants with leaves twelve inches broad, 
and grasses three feet high. 

"This afternoon the wind has been blowing a tremendous 
gale, and our anchors have dragged with sixty fathoms of chain 
out. Yet one of the whaler's boats came -with six men to pay 
us a visit. They wished to see some of my drawings, and I 
gratified them ; and in return they promised to show me a 
whale before it was cut up, should they catch one before we 
leave this place for Bras d'Or. 

"July 23. We visited to-day the seal establishment of a 
Scotchman, named Robertson, about six miles east of our 
anchorage. He received us politely, addressed me by name, 
and told me he had received information of my visit to this 
country through the English and Canadian newspapers. This 
man has resided here twenty years, and married a Labrador 
lady, the daughter of a Monsieur Chevalier of Bras d'Or ; ha? a 
family of six children, and a good-looking wife. He has a 
comfortable house, and a little garden, in which he raises a few 


turnips, potatoes, and other vegetables. He appeared to be 
lord of all these parts, and quite contented with his lot. He 
told me that his profits last year amounted to three thousand 
dollars. He does not trade with the Indians, of whom we saw 
about twenty of the Mountaineer tribe, and he has white men- 
servants. His seal-oil tubs were full, and he was then engaged 
in loading a schooner bound to Quebec. He complained of the 
American fishermen, and said they often acted as badly as 
pirates towards the Indians, the white settlers, and the eggers, 
all of whom have more than once retaliated, when bloody com- 
bats have followed. He assured me that he had seen a fisher- 
man's crew kill thousands of guillemots in a day, pluck off their 
feathers, and throw their bodies into the sea. 

" Mr. Eobertson also told me that, during mild winters, his 
little harbour is covered with thousands of white gulls, and that 
they all leave on the approach of spring. The travelling here 
is altogether over the ice, which is covered with snow, and in 
sledges drawn by Esquimaux dogs, of which this man keeps a 
famous pack. He often goes to Bras d' Or, seventy-five 
miles distant, with his wife and children on one sledge, drawn 
by ten dogs. Scarcely any travelling is done on land, the 
country is so precipitous and broken. Fifteen miles north of 
here he says there is a lake, represented by the Indians as four 
hundred miles long and one hundred broad, and that this sea- 
like lake is at times as rough as the ocean in a storm. It 
abounds with fish, and some water-birds resort there, and breed 
by millions along its margin. We have had a fine day, but 
Mr. E. says that the summer has been unusually tempestuous. 
The caraboo flies drove our hunters on board to-day, and they 
looked as bloody as if they had actually had a gouging fight 
with some rough Kentuckians. Here we found on this wonder- 
ful wild coast some newspapers from the United States, and 
received the latest intelligence from Boston to be had at 

July 24 and 25 were engaged in hunting birds and drawing, 
and contain much valuable information on ornithology, which 
is given in the " Birds of America." 

" July 26. We left our anchorage, and sailed with a fair wind 
to visit the Chevalier's settlement, called Bonne Esperance, 


forty-seven miles distant. When two-thirds of the distance had 
been gone over the wind failed us; calms were followed by 
severe squalls, and a tremendous sea rolled, which threatened 
to shake our masts out. At eight o'clock, however, we came 
abreast of the settlement, but as our pilot knew nothing of the 
harbour, the captain thought it prudent to stand off, and proceed 
on to Bras d'Or. The coast here, like all that we have seen 
before, was dotted with rocky islands of all sizes and forms, and 
against which the raging waves dashed in a frightful manner, 
making us shudder at the thought of the fate of the wretched 
mariners who might be thrown on them. 

" July 27. At daylight this morning we found ourselves at the 
mouth of Bras d'Or Harbour, where we are now snugly moored. 
We hoisted our colours, and Captain BiUings, of American 
Harbour, came to us in his Hampton boat, and piloted us in. 
This Bras d'Or is the grand rendezvous of almost all the fisher- 
men, that resort to this coast for cod-fish ; and we found here a 
flotilla of one hundred and fifty sails, principally fore-and-aft 
schooners, and mostly from Halifax and the eastern parts of 
the United States. 

" There was a life and bustle in the harbour which surprised 
us, after so many weeks of wilderness and loneKness along the 
rocky coaat. Boats were moving to and fro over the whole bay, 
going after fish, and returning loaded to the gunwale ; some 
with seines, others with caplings, ion bait, and a hundred or 
more anchored out about a mile from us, hauling the poor cod- 
fish by thousands, and hundreds of men engaged in cleaning 
and salting them, and enlivening their work with Billingsgate 
slang, and stories, and songs. 

" As soon as breakfast was over we went ashore, and called on 
Mr. Jones, the owner of the seal-fishing establishment here, a 
rough, brown-looking Nova-Scotia man, who received us well, 
and gave us considerable information respecting the birds which 
visit his neighbourhood. This man has forty Esquimaux dogs, 
and he entertained us with an account of his travels with them 
in winter. They are harnessed with a leather collar, belly and 
back bands, through the upper part of which the line of seal- 
skin passes which is attached to the sledge, and it serves the 
double purpose of a rein and trace to draw Vith. An odd 


number of dogs is used for the gang employed in drawing the 
sledge, the number varying according to the distance to be 
travelled or the load to be carried. Each dog is estimated to 
carry two hundred pounds, and to travel with that load at the 
rate of five or six miles an hour. The leader, which is always a 
well-broken' dog, is placed ahead of the pack, with a draft 
line of from six to ten fathoms in length, and the rest with 
successively shorter ones, until they come to within eight feet of 
the sledge. They are not coupled, however, as they are usually 
represented in engravings, but are attached each loose from all 
others, so that when they are in motion, travelling, they appear 
like a flock of partridges all flying loosely, and yet all the same 
course. They always travel in a gallop, no matter what the 
state of the country may be. Going down hill is most difficult 
and dangerous, and at times it is necessary for the rider to 
guide the sledge with his feet, as boys steer their sleds sliding 
down hills, and sometimes it is done by long poles stuck into 
the snow. When the sledge is heavily laden, and the descent 
steep, the dogs are often taken off, and the vehicle made to 
slide down the precipice by the man alone, who lies flat on the 
sledge, and guides it with his toes from behind, as he descends 
head foremost. The dogs are so well acquainted with the 
courses and places in the neighbourhood, that they never fail 
to take their master and his sledge to the house where he 
wishes them to go, even should a severe snow-storm come on 
while they are on the journey ; and it is always safer for the 
rider at such times to trust to the instincts of the dogs, than to 
attempt to guide them by his own judgment. Cases have 
occurred where men have done this, and paid the penalty by 
freezing to death in a desolate wilderness. In such cases the 
faithful dogs, if left to themselves, make directly for their 

" When two travellers meet on a journey, it is necessary for 
both parties to come circuitously and slowly towards each other, 
and give the separate packs the opportunity of observing that 
their masters are acquainted, or otherwise a fight might ensue 
between the dogs. Mr. Jones lost a son, fourteen years of age, 
a few years ago in the snow, in consequence of a servant 
imprudently turning the dogs from their course, thinking they 


were wrong. The dogs obeyed the command, and took them 
towards Hudson's Bay. When the weather cleared the servant 
found his mistake ; but, alas ! it was too late for the tender 
boy, and he froze to death in the servant's arms. 

" We saw also to-day the carcasses of fifteen hundred seals 
stripped of their skins, piled up in a heap, and the dogs feeding 
on them. The stench filled the air for half a mile around. 
They tell us the dogs feed on this filthy flesh until the next 
seal season, tearing it piecemeal when frozen in winter. 

" Mr. Jones's house was being painted white, his oil-tubs 
were full, and the whole establishment was perfumed with 
odours which were not agreeable to my olfactory nerves. The 
snow is to be seen in large patches on every hill around us, 
while the borders of the water-courses are fringed with grasses 
and weeds as rank as any to be found in the middle states in 
like situations. I saw a small brook with fine trout, but what 
pleased me more was to find the nest of the shore-lark ; it was 
embedded in moss, so exactly the colour of the bird, that when 
the mother sat on it, it was impossible to distinguish her. We 
see Newfoundland in the distance, looking like high moun- 
tains, whose summits are far above the clouds at present. Two 
weeks since the harbour where we now are was an ice-field, 
and not a vessel could approach it ; since then the ice has sunk, 
and none is to be seen far or near. 

" July 28. A tremendous gale has blown all day, and I have 
been drawing. The captain and the rest of our company went 
oif in the storm to visit Blanc Sablons, four miles distant. The 
fishermen have corrupted the French name into the English of 
" Nancy Belong.'' Towards evening the storm abated, and 
although 'it is now almost calm, the sea runs high, and the 
Eipley rolls in a way which makes our suppers rest unquietly 
in our stomachs. We have tried in vain to get some Esquimaux 
mocassins and robes ; and we also asked to hire one of them, 
to act as a guide for thirty or forty miles into the interior. 
The chief said his son might go, a boy of twenty-three, but he 
would have to ask his mother, as she was always fearing some 
accident to her darling. This darling son looked more like a 
brute than a Christian man, and was so daring, that he would 
not venture on our journey. 


" We proceeded over the table-lands towards some ponds, and 
I found three young shore-larks just out of the nest, and not yet 
able to fly. They hopped about pretty briskly over the moss, 
uttering a soft peep, to which the parent birds responded at 
every call. They were about a week old, and I am glad that 
I shall now have it in my power to make a figure of these birds 
in summer, winter, and young plumage. We also found the 
breeding-place of the Fuligula Histrionica, in the corner of a 
small pond in some low bushes. The parent bird was so shy, 
that we could not obtain her. In another pond we found the 
nest also of the velvet duck, called here white-winged coots 
(Fuligula Fusca) ; it was placed on the moss, among the grass, 
close to the edge of the water, and contained feathers, but no 
down, as others do. The female had six young, five of which 
were secured. They were about one week old, and I could 
readily distinguish the male birds from the females, the former 
all exhibiting the white spot under the eye. They were black 
and hairy (not downy) all over except under the chin, where a 
patch of white showed itself. They swam swiftly and beauti- 
fully, and when we drove them into a narrow place, for the 
purpose of getting them on land and catching them alive, they 
turned about face and dived most beautifully, and made their 
way towards the middle of the pond, where four were shot at one 
discharge. Another went on shore and squatted in the grass, 
where Lincoln caught it ; but I begged for its life, and we left 
it to the care of its mother and of the Maker ! The mother 
showed all imaginable anxiety, and called to her young all the 
while she remained in the pond, with a short squeaking note by 
no means unpleasant. 

" Jidy 29. Bras d'Or. Another horrid stormy day ; the 
fishermen complain, although five or six left the harbour for 
further east ; and I wish them joy, but for my part I wish I was 
further westward. Our party of young men went off this 
morning early to a place called Port Eau, eighteen miles distant, 
to try to buy some Esquimaux mocassins and dresses. They 
wiU not come back till to-morrow, and I was glad when the 
boat returned, as I was sure they were on terra firma. I feel 
quite lonesome on account of their absence, for when all are 
on board we have lively times, with music, and stories, and 


jokes, and journalizing. But I have amused myself drawing 
three young shore-larks, the first ever portrayed by man. 

" These birds are just now beginning to congregate, by associ- 
ating their families together ; even those of which the young are 
scarcely able to fly fifty yards are urging the latter to follow 
the flock ; so much for short seasons here. In one month all 
these bu-ds must leave this coast or begin to suffer. The young 
of many birds are now fledged, and scamper over the rocks 
about us, amid the stinking drying cod-fish, with all the 
sprightliness of youth. The young ravens are out, and fly in 
flocks with their parents also ; and the young of almost all the 
land birds are full fledged. The ducks alone seem to me to be 
backward in their growth, but being more hardy, they can 
stand the rigidity of the climate until the month of October, 
when the deep snows drive them ofi^, ready or not, for their 
toilsome journey. 

" The water of our harbour is actually covered with oil, and 
the bottom fairly covered with the offal of cod-fish, so that I 
feel as if smelling and breathing an air impregnated with the 
essence of cod-fish. 

" July 30. The morning was beautiful when I arose, but such 
a thing as a beautiful morning in this mournful country amounts 
almost to an unnatural phenomenon. The captain and myseK 
visited Mr. Jones this afternoon. We found his wife a good 
motherly woman, who talked well, and gave us some milk ; she 
also promised us some fresh butter, and asked to see my draw- 
ings of the birds of this vicinity. 

" At Port Eau our young men saw an iceberg of immense 
size. At that place there is a large fishing estabKshment, having 
a store connected with it, belonging to fishermen who come 
yearly from the Island of Jersey. It is again blowing a young 

" July 31. Another horrid hurricane, accompanied by heavy 
rain, and the vessel rolling so that I cannot go on with my 

" August 1. The weather has quite changed, the wind 
blows from the south-west ; it is dry, and I have used the time 
in drawing. At noon we were visited by an iceberg, which 
was driven by the easterly wind and storm of yesterday to 


within three miles of us, and grounded at the entrance of the 
bay. It looks like a large man-of-war, dressed in light gi-eenish 
\ muslin instead of canvas; and when the sun shines on it it 
■flitters most brilliantly. 

"When these transient monuments of the sea happen to 
itumble or roU over, the fall is tremendous, and the sound pro- 
educed resembles that of loud distant thunder. These icebergs 
^re common here aU summer, being wafted from the lower end 
j of the straits with every heavy easterly wind or gale. And as 
vthe winds generally prevail from the south and south-west, the 
poast of Newfoundland is more free from them than Labrador ; 
iand the navigation along the straits is generally performed 
Tjlong the coast of Newfoundland. My time and our days now 
weigh heavily on our hands ; nothing to be seen, nothing to be 
shot, therefore nothing to be drawn. I have now determined 
on a last thorough ransack of the mountain tops, and plains, 
and ponds, and if no success follows, to raise anchor and sail 
towards the United States once more ; and blessed will the day 
be when I land on those dear shores where all I long for in 
this world exists and lives, I hope. 

" August 2, Thermometer 58° at noon. Thank Grod it has 
rained all day. I say thank God, though rain is no rarity, because 
it is the duty of every man to be thankful for whatever happens 
by the will of the Omnipotent Creator ; yet it was not so agree- 
able to any of my party as a fine day would have been. We 
had an arrival of a handsome schooner, called the Wizard, from 
Boston to-day, but she brought neither papers nor letters ; but 
we learned that all our great cities have a healthy season, and 
we thanked G-od for this. The retrograde movement of many 
land and water birds has already commenced, especially of the 
lesser species. 

"August 3. The Wizard broke her moorings and ran into 
us last night, causing much alarm, but no injury. The iceberg 
Coi which I have spoken has been broken into a thousand pieces 
] by the late gale, and now lies stranded along the coast. One 
j such monster deposits hundreds of tons of rocks, and gravel, 
. and boulders, and so explains the phenomena which I have 
■, before mentioned as observable along the coast. 

" August 4. It is wonderful how quickly every living thing 


in this region, whether animal or vegetable, attains its growth,^ 
In six weeks I have seen the eggs laid, the birds hatched, and 
their first moult half gone through ; their association into flocks 
begun, and preparations for leaving the country. ' 

' " That the Creator should have ordered that millions of 
diminutive, tender creatures, should cross spaces of country, in x 
all appearance a thousand times more congenial for all their ,' 
purposes, to reach this poor, desolate, and deserted land, to; 
people it, as it were, for a time, and to cause it to be enlivened j 
with the songs of the sweetest of the feathered musicians, for I 
only two months at most, and then, by the same extraordinary \ 
instinct, should cause them all to suddenly abandon the country, / 
is as wonderful as it is beautiful and grand. 

" Six weeks ago this whole country was one sheet of ice ; the 
land was covered with snow, the air was filled with frost, and 
subject to incessant storms, and the whole country a mere mass 
of apparently useless matter. Now the grass is abundant, and 
of rich growth, tlie flowers are met with at every step, insects 
fill the air, and the fruits are ripe. The sun shines, and it^ 
influence is as remarkable as it is beautiful j the snow-bank^ 
appear as if about to melt, and here and there there is some- 
thing of a summerish look. But in thirty days all is over ; the 
dark northern clouds will come down on the mountains f th^ 
rivulets and pools, and the bays themselves, will begin to freeze ; 
weeks of snow-storms will follow, and change the whole coverf 
ing of these shores and country, and Nature will assume nol 
only a sleeping state, but one of desolation and death. Wonder4 
ful ! wonderful ! wonderful ! But it requires an abler penj 
than mine to paint the picture of this all-wonderful country. ""^ 

" August 5. This has been a fine day ! We have had no new 
hurricane, and I have finished the drawings of several new 
birds. It appears that northern birds come to maturity sooner 
than southern ones ; this is reversing the rule in the human 
species. The migration of birds is much more wonderful than 
that of fishes, because the latter commonly go feeling their 
way along the shores, from one clime to another, and return to 
the very same river, creek, or even hole, to deposit their spawn, 
as the birds do to their former nest or building-ground as long 
as they live. But the latter do not feel their way, but launch- 


ing high in the air, go at once, and correctly, too, across im- 
mense tracts of country, seemingly indifferent to them, but at 
once stopping, and making their abode in special parts here- 
tofore their own, by previous knowledge of the advantages and 
comforts which they have enjoyed, and they know awaits them 

" August 10. I now sit down to post up my poor book, while 
a furious gale is blowing without. I have neglected to make 
daily records for some days, because I have been so constantly 
drawing, that when night came, I was too weary to wield my 
pen. Indeed, all my physical powers have been taixed to weari- 
ness by this little work of drawing ; my neck and shoulders, 
and most of all my fingers, have ached from the fatigue ; and I 
have suffered more from this kind of exertion than from walking 
sixty-five miles in a day, which I once did. 

" To-day I have added one more new species to the ' Birds of 
America,' the Labrador falcon ; and may we live to see its 
beautiful figure multiplied by Havell's graver." 

The journal gives a list of the names of one hundred and 
seventy-three skins of birds, which were obtained on the coast 
of Labrador by Audubon and his party on this expedition. 
The episode given in the following chapter seems to summarize 
Audubon's observations of the inhabitants of Labrador. 


Labkador Episodes: The Squatters of Labrador.- 

" GrO where you will, if a shilling can there be procured, you may i 
expect to meet with individuals in search of it. In the course, 
of last summer I met with several persons as well as families 
whom I could not compare to anything else than what in 
America we understand by the appellation of squatters. The 
methods they employed to accumulate property form the subject 
of the observations which I now lay before you. Our schooner 
lay at anchor in a beautiful basin on the coast of Labrador, 
surrounded by uncouth granite rocks, partially covered with 
stunted vegetation. While searching for birds and other objects 
I chanced one morning to direct my eye towards the pinnacle 
of a small island, separated from the mainland by a very 
narrow channel, and presently commenced inspecting it with 
my telescope. There I saw a man on his knees, with clasped 
hands, and face inclined heavenwards. Before him was a small 
monument of unhewn stones supporting a wooden cross. In a 
word, reader, the person whom I thus unexpectedly discovered 
was engaged in prayer. Such an incident in that desolate land 
was affecting, for there one seldom finds traces of human beings, 
and the aid of the Almighty, although necessary everywhere, 
seems there peculiarly required to enable them to procure the 
means of subsistence. My curiosity having been raised, I betook 
myself to my boat, landed on the rock, and scrambled to the 
place, where I found, the man still on his knees. When his 
devotions were concluded he bowed to me and addressed me in 
very indifferent French. I asked why he had chosen so dreary 


a spot for his prayers. ' Because,' answered he, ' the sea lies 
/before me, and from it I receive my spring and summer 
'sustenance. "When winter approaches I pray fronting the 
mountains on the Maine, as at that period the caraboos come 
..towards the shore and I kill them, feed on their flesh, and form 
, my bedding of their skins.' I thought the answer reasonable, 
and, as I longed to know more of him, followed him to his hut. 
It was low and Tery small, formed of stones plastered with mud 
to a considerable thickness. The roof was composed of a sort 
of thatching made of weeds and moss. A large Dutch stove 
filled nearly one half of the place ; a small port-hole, then stuffed 
with old rags, served at times instead of a window ; the bed was 
a pile of deer-skins ; a bowl, a jug, and an iron pot were placed 
on a rude shelf; three old and rusty muskets, their locks 
fastened by thongs, stood in a corner ; and his buck-shot, powder, 
and flints were tied up in bags of skin. Eight Esquimaux dogs 
yelled and leaped about us. The strong smell that emanated 
from them, together with the smokfe and filth of the apartment, 
rendered my stay in it very disagreeable. Being a native of 
France, the good man showed much politeness, and invited me 
to take some refreshment, when, without waiting for my assent, 
he took up his bowl and went ofi' I knew not whither. No 
sooner had he and his strange dogs disappeared, than I went 
out also to breathe the pure air and gaze on the wild and 
majestic scenery around. I was struck with the extraordinary 
luxuriance of the plants and grasses that had sprung up on the 
scanty soil in the little valley which the squatter had chosen 
for his home. Their stalks and broad blades reached my waist. 
June had come, and the flies, mosquitoes, and other insects 
filled the air, and were as troublesome to me as if I had been in 
a Florida swamp. The squatter returned, but he was ' chop- 
fallen ;' nay, I thought his visage had assumed a cadaverous hue. 
Tears ran down his cheeks, and he told me that his barrel of 
rum had been stolen by the ' eggers ' or some fishermen. He 
said that he had been in the habit of hiding it in the bushes to 
prevent its being carried away by those merciless thieves, who 
must have watched him in some of his frequent walks to the 
spot. ' Now,' said he, ' I can expect none till next spring, and 
God knows what will become of me in the winter.' Pierre Jean 


Baptiste Michaux ' had resided in that part of the world for 
upwards of ten years ; he had run away from the fishing-smack 
that had brought him from his fair native land, and expected 
to become rich some day by the sale of his furs, skias, and 
eider-ducks' down, seal-skins, and other articles which he 
collected yearly, and sold to the traders who regularly visited 
his dreary abode. He was of moderate stature, firmly framed, 
and as active as a wild cat.' He told me .that, excepting the loss of 
his rum, he had never experienced any other cause of sorrow, 
and that he felt as ' happy as a lord.' Before parting with this 
fortunate mortal, I inquired how his dogs managed to find 
sufficient food. 'Why, sir, during spring and summer they 
ramble along the shores, where they meet with abundance of 
dead fish, and in winter they eat the flesh of the seals which 
I kill late in the autumn, when these animals return from tlie 
north. As to myself, everything eatable is good, and when 
hard pushed, I assure you I can relish the fare of my dogs just 
as much as they do themselves.' . Proceeding along the rugged 
indentations of the bay with my companions, I reached the 
settlement of another person, who, like the first, had come to 
Labrador with the view of making his fortune. We found him 
after many difficulties ; but as our boats turned a long point 
jutting out into the bay we were pleased to see several small 
schooners at anchor and one lying near a sort of wharf. Several 
neat-looking houses enlivened the view, and on landing we were 
kindly greeted with a polite welcome from a man who proved 
to be the owner of the establishment. For the rude simplicity 
of him of the rum-cask we found here the manners and dress 
of a man of the world. A handsome fur cap covered his dark 
brow, his clothes were similar to our own, and his demeanour 
was that of a gentleman. On my giving him my name he 
shook me heartily by the hand, and on introducing each of my 
companions to him he addressed me as follows : ' My dear sir, 
I have been expecting you these three weeks, having read in 
the papers your intention to visit Labrador, and some fishermen 
told me of your arrival at Little Natasquan. Gentlemen, walk 
in.' Having followed him to his neat and comfortable mansion, 
he introduced me to his wife and children. Of the latter there 
were six, all robust and rosy. The larly, although a native of 

u 2 


the country, was of French extraction, handsome, and sufficiently 
accomplished to make an excellent companion to a gentleman. 
A smart girl brought us a luncheon, consisting of bread, cheese, 
and good port wine, to which, having rowed fourteen or fifteen 
miles that morning, we helped ourselves in a manner that seemed 
satisfactory to all parties. Our host gave us newspapers from 
different parts of the world, and showed us his small but choice 
collection of books. He inquired after the health of the amiable 
Captain Bayfield of the Eoyal Navy, and the officers under him, 
and hoped they would give him a call. Having refreshed our- 
selves, we walked out with him, when he pointed to a very small 
garden where a few vegetables sprouted out anxious to see the 
sun. Gazing on the desolate country around, I asked him how 
he had thus secluded himself from the world. For it he had no 
relish, and although he had received a liberal education and 
had mixed with society, he never intended to return to it. ' The 
country round,' said he, ' is^ll my own much farther than you 
can see. No fees, no lawyers, no taxes are here. I do pretty 
much as I choose. My means are ample through my own 
industry. These vessels come here for seal-skins, seal oil, and 
salmon, and give me in return all the necessaries, and, indeed, 
comforts of the life I love to follow ; and what else could the 
world afford me ?' I spoke of the education of his children. 
' My wife and I teach them all that is useful for them to know, 
and is not that enough ? My girls will marry their countrymen, 
my sons the daughters of my neighlours, and 1 hope all of them 
will live and die in the country.' I said no more, but by way 
of compensation for the trouble I had given him, purchased 
from his eldest child a beautiful fox-skin. Few birds, he said, 
came round him in summer, but in, winter thousands of 
ptarmigans were killed, as well as great numbers of gulls. He 
had a great dislike to all fishermen and eggers, and I really 
believe was' always glad to see the departure of even the hardy 
navigators who annually visited him for the sake of his salmon, 
his seal-skins, and oil. He had more than forty Esquimaux 
dogs ; and as I was caressing one of them he said, ' Tell my 
brother-in-law at Bras-d'or that we are all well here, and that 
after visiting my wife's father I will give him a call.' 

" Now, reader, his wife's father resided at the distance of 


seventy miles down the coast, and like himself was a recluse. 
He of Bras-d'or was at double that distance; but when the 
snows of winter have thickly covered the country, the whole 
family in sledges drawn by dogs travel with ease and pay their 
visits or leave their cards. TJiis good gentleman had already 
resided there more than twenty years. Should he ever read 
this article, I desire him to believe that I shall always be 
grateful to him and his wife for their hospitable welcome. 
When our schooner, the Eipley, arrived at Bras-d'or, I paid a 

visit to Mr. , the brother-in-law, who lived in a house 

imported from Quebec, which fronted the strait of Belle Isle, 
and overlooked a small island, over which the eye reached the 
coast of I^ewfoundland whenever it was the wind's pleasure to 
drive away the fogs that usually lay over both coasts. The 
gentleman and his wife, we were told, were both out on a walk, 
but would return in a very short time, which they in fact did> 
when we followed fliem into the house, which was yet unfinished. 
The usual immense Dutch stove formed a principal feature of 
the interior. The lady had once visited the metropolis of 
Canada, and seemed desirous of acting the part of a 'blue 
stocking.' Understanding that I knew something of the fine 
arts, she pointed to several of the vile prints hung on the bare 
walls, which she said were elegant Italian pictures, and con- 
tinued her encomiums upon them, assuring me that she had 
purchased them from an Italian who had come there with a 
trunk full of them. She had paid a shilling sterling for each, 
frame included. I could give no answer to the good lady on 
this subject, but I felt glad to find that she possessed a feeling 
heart. One of her children had caught a siskin, and was tor- 
menting the poor bird, when she rose from her seat, took the 
little flutterer from the boy, kissed it, and gently launched it 
into the air. This made me quite forget the tattle about the 
fine arts. Some excellent milk was poured out for us in clean 
glasses. It was a pleasing sight, for not a cow had we yet seen 
in the country. The lady turned the conversation on music, 
and asked if I played on any instrument. I answered that 
I did, but very indifferently. Her forte, she said, was music, of 
which she was indeed immoderately fond. Her instrument had 
been sent to Europe to be repaired, but would return that 


season, when the whole of her children would again perform 
many beautiful airs, for in fact anybody could use it with ease, 
as when she or the children felt fatigued the servant played on 
it for them. Eather surprised at the extraordinary powers of 
this family of musicians, I asked what sort of an instrument it 
was, when she described it as follows : ' Gentlemen, my instru- 
ment is large, longer than broad, and stands on four legs like a 
table ; at one end is a crooked handle, by turning which round 
either fast or slow I do assure you we make excellent music' 
The lips of my young friends and companions instantly curled, 
but a glance from me as instantly recomposed their features. 
Telling the fair one it must be a hand-organ she used, she 
laughingly said, ' Oh, that is it, it is a hand-organ, but I had for- 
gotten the name, and for the life of me could not recollect it.' 
The husband had gone out to work, and was in the harbour 
caulking an old schooner. He dined with me on board the 
Eipley,. and proved to be an excellent fellow. Like his brother- 
in-law, he had seen much of the world, having sailed nearly 
round it ; and although no scholar, like him, too, he was disgusted 
with it. He held his land on the same footing as his neighbours, 
caught seals without number, lived comfortably and happily, 
visited his father-in-law and the scholar by the aid of his dogs, 
of which he kept a great pack, bartered or sold his commodities 
as his relations did, and cared about nothing else in the world. 
Whenever the weather was fair he walked with his dame over 
the snow-covered rocks of the neighbourhood, and during winter 
killed ptarmigans and caraboos, while his eldest son attended 
to the traps and skinned the animals caught by them. He had 
the only horse that was to be found in that part of the country, 
as well as several cows ; but, above all, he was kind to every one, 
and every one spoke well of him. The only disagreeable thing 
about the plantation or settlement was a heap of fifteen hundred 
carcasses of skinned seals, which at the time when we visited 
the place, in the month of August, notwithstanding the coolness 
of the atmosphere, sent forth a stench that, according to the idea 
of some naturalists, might have sufSced to attract all the vultures 
in the United States. During our stay at Bras-d'or the kind- 
hearted and good Mrs. daily sent us fresh milk and butter, 

for which we were denied the pleasure of making any return." 


Notes in Labkadoe — Gulf of St. Laweence — St. Geoege's Bat, New- 
foundland — The Village — Fishbemen and Women— Indian Wig- 
wams — Beating about at Sea. 

"August 11. At sea, GuKof St. Lawrence. We are now fully 
fifty miles from the coast of Labrador. Fresh water was taken 
on board, and all preparations were made last evening, and this 
morning we bid adieu to the friends we had made at Labrador. 

" Seldom in my life have I left a country with as little regret 
as this ; next in order would come East Florida, after my 
excursion up the St. John's Eiver. As we sailed away I saw 
probably for the last time the high and rugged hills, partly 
immersed in large banks of fog, that usually, hang over them. 

"Now we are sailing before the wind in full sight of the 
south-west coast of Newfoundland, the mountains of which are 
high, spotted with drifted snow-banks, and cut horizontally with 
floating strata of fogs extending along the land as far as the eye 
can reach. The sea is quite smooth, or else I have become a 
better sailor by this rough voyage. Althougli the weather is 
cloudy, it is such as promises in this region a fair night. Our 
young- men are playing the violin and flute, and I am scribbling 
in my book. 

" it is worth telling that during the two months we have 
spent on the coast of Labrador, moving from one harbour to 
another, or from behind one rocky island to another, only three 
nights have been passed at sea. Twenty-three drawings have 
been commenced or finished, and now I am anxious to know if 


what remains of the voyage will prove as fruitful ; and only 
hope our Creator will permit us all to reach our friends in 
safety and find them well and happy. 

« August 13. Harbour of St. George's Bay, Newfoundland. By 
my dates you will see how long we were running, as the sailors 
call it, from Labrador to this place, where we anchored at five 
this evening. Our voyage here was all in sight of, and indeed 
along the north-west side of Newfoundland; the shores pre- 
senting the highest lands we have yet seen. In some places 
the views were highly picturesque and agreeable to the eye, 
although the appearance of vegetation was but little better 
than at Labrador, The wind was fair for two-thirds of the 
distance, and drew gradually ahead and made us uncomfortable. 
" This, morning we entered the mouth of St, George's Bay, 
which is about forty miles wide and fifty miles deep, and a more 
beautiful and ample basin cannot be found ; there is not a single 
obstruction within it. The north-east shores are high and 
rocky, but the southern are sandy, low, and flattish. It took 
us until five o'clock to ascend it, when we came to anchor in 
sight of a small village, the only one we have seen in two 
months ; and we are in a harbour with a clay bottom, and where 
fifty line-of-battle ships could snugly and safely ride. 

" The village is built on an elongated point of sand or sea wall, 
iinder which we now are, and is perfectly secure from all winds 
except the north-east. The country on ascending the bay 
became gradually more woody and less rough in shape. The 
temperature changed quite suddenly this afternoon, and the 
weather was so mild that we found it agreeable lolling on deck, 
and it felt warm even to a southern like myself. Twenty-two 
degrees difference in temperature in two days is a very con- 
siderable change. 

" We found here several sail of vessels engaged in the fisheries, 
and an old hulk from Hull in England, called Charles Tennison, 
which was wrecked near here four years ago, on her way from 
Quebec to Hull. As we sailed up the bay two men boarded us 
from a small boat and assisted us. as pilots. They had a half 
barrel of fine salmon, which I bought from them for ten dollars. 
As soon as we dropped anchor our young men went ashore to 
buy fresh provisions, but they returned with nothing but two 


bottles of jtnilk, though the village contains two hundred inhabi- 
tants. Mackerel; and sharks of the man-eating kind, are said 
to be abundant here. Some signs of cultivation are to be seen 
across the harbour, and many huts of Michmaes Indians adorn 
the shores. We learn that' the winters are not nearly as severe 
here as at Quebec, yet not far off I could see dots of snow of 
last year's crop. Some persons say birds are plenty, others say 
there are none hereabouts. 

'•' The ice did not break up, so that this bay was not navigable 
until the 17th of May, and I feel confident that no one can enter 
the harbours of Labrador before the 10th or middle of June. 

" August 14. All ashore in search of birds, plants, and the usual 
et ceteras belonging to our vocations, but all had to return soon 
on account of a storm of wind and rain, showing that Newfound- 
land is cousin to Labrador in this respect. We found the 
country quite rich however in comparison with the latter place ; 
all the vegetable productions are larger and more abundant. 
We saw a flock of house sparrows, all gay and singing, and on 
their passage to the south-west." 

Audubon names about twenty different species of birds 
which he saw here ; hares and caraboos are among the animals, 
and among the wild plants he found two species of roses. 

" The women fiew before us as if we were wild beasts, and 
one who had a pail of water, at sight of us, dropped it, and ran 
to hide herself; another who was looking for a cow, on seeing us 
coming, ran into the woods, and afterwards crossed a stream 
waist deep to get home to her hut without passing us. We are 
told that no laws are administered here, and to my surprise not 
a sign of a church exists. The people are all fishermen and live 
poorly; in one enclosure I saw a few pretty good-looking 
cabbages. We can buy only milk and herrings, the latter ten 
cents a dozen ; we were asked eight dollars for a tolerable calf, 
but chickens were too scarce to be obtained. Two clearings 
across the bay are the only signs of cultivated land. Not a 
horse has yet made its way into' the country, and not even a 
true Newfoundland dog, nothing but curs of a mixed breed. 

" Some of the buildings looked like miserable hovels, others 
more like habitable houses. Not a blacksmith's shop here, and 
yet one would probably do well. The customs of the people are 


partly Canadian and partly English. The women all wear 
cotton caps covering their ears. The passage to and from our 
vessel to the shore was the roughest I ever made in an open 
boat, and we were completely soaked by the waves which dashed 
over us. 

" August 15. "We have had a beautiful day. This morning some 
Indians came alongside of our vessel with half a reindeer, a 
caraboo, and a hare of a species I had never seen before. - We gave 
them twenty-one pounds of pork for forty-four pounds of venison, 
thirty-three pounds of bread for the caraboo, and a quarter of a 
dollar for the hare. The Indians showed much cleverness in 
striking the bargain. I spent part of the day drawing, and then 
visited the wigwams of the Indians across the bay. We found 
them, as I expected, all lying down pell-meU in their wigwams, 
and a strong mixture of blood was perceptible in their skins, 
shape, and deportment: some were almost white, and sorry I 
am to say, that the nearer they were to our nobler race the 
filthier and the lazier they were. The women and children 
were particularly disgusting in this respect. Some of the 
women were making baskets, and others came in from collecting 
a fruit called here the baked apple (Rubus ehammnrous), and 
when burnt a little it tastes exactly like a roasted apple. The 
children were catching lobsters and eels, of which there are a 
great many in the bay, as there are in all the bays of the island, 
whilst at Labrador this shell-fish is very rare. The young 
Indians found them by wading to their knees in eel grass. 

"We bargained with two of the hunters to go with our 
young men into the interior to hunt for caraboos, hares, and 
partridges, which they agreed to do for a dollar a day. The 
Indians cook lobsters by roasting them in a pile of brushwood, 
and eat them without any salt or other condiment. The 
caraboos are at this date in ' velvet,' their skins are now light 
grey, and the flesh poor but tender. The average weight of 
this animal, when in good condition, is four hundred pounds. 
In the early part of Mai'ch they leave the hilly grounds, where 
no moss or any other food can be obtained, and resort to the 
shores of the sea to feed on kelp and other sea grasses cut up 
by the ice and cast up by the waves along the shore. Groups 
of several hundreds may be seen at one time thus feeding : their 


flesh here is not much esteemed ; it tastes like indifferent, poor, 
but yery tender Tenison. 

" August 17. We should now be ploughing the deep had the 
wind been fair, but it has been ahead, and we remain here in 
statu quo. The truth is we have determined not to leave this 
harbour without a fair prospect of a good run, and then we shall 
trust to Providence after that. I have added a curious species 
of alder to my drawing of the white-winged cross-bill, and 
iinished it. We received a visit from Mr., Mrs., and Miss Forest ; 
they brought us some salad and fresh butter, and in return we 
gave them a glass of wine and some raisins. The old lady and 
gentleman talked well; he complained of the poverty of the 
country and the disadvantages Tie experienced from the privi- 
leges granted to the French on this coast. They told me they 
were relatives of Lord Plunket, and that they were well ac- 
quainted with our friend Edward Han-is and his family. I gave 
them my card, and showed them the Duke of Sussex's letter, 
which they borrowed and took home to copy. I had also a visit 
from an old Frenchman who has resided on this famous island 
for fifty years. He assured me that no red Indians are now to 
be found ; the last he had heard of were seen twenty-two years 
ago. It is said that these natives give no quarter to anybody, 
but, after killing their foes, cut off their heads and leave their 
bodies to the wild beasts of the country. 

" Several flocks of golden-winged plovers passed over the bay 
this forenoon, and two lestris pomerania came in this evening. 
The ravens abound here, but no crows have yet been seen ; the 
great tern are passing south by thousands, and a small flock of 
Canada geese were also seen. The young of the golden-crested 
wren were shot. A muscipcapa was killed, which is probably 
new. I bought seven Newfoundland dogs for seventeen dollars : 
two bitches, four pups, and a dog two years old. With these I 
shall be able to fulfil promises made to friends to bring them 

" On the 18th of August at daylight the wind promised to be 
fair, and although it was rather cloudy we broke our anchorage, 
and at five o'clock were under weigh. We coasted along 
Newfoundland until evening, when the wind rose to a tempest 
from the south-west, and our vessel was laid to at dark, and we 


danced and kicked over the wares the whole of that night and 
the next day. The next day the storm abated, but the wind was 
still 80 adyerse that we could not make the Gannet Eock or any 
part of Newfoundland, and towards the latter we steered, for 
none of us could bear the idea of returning to Labrador. During 
the night the weather moderated, and the next day we laid our 
course for the Straits of Canseau ; but suddenly the wind failed, 
and during the calm it was agreed that we would try and reach 
Pictou in Nova Scotia, and travel by land. We are now beating 
about towards that port, and hope to reach it early to-morrow 
morning. The captain wiU then sail for Eastport, and we, 
making our way by land, will probably reach there as soon as 
he. The great desire we all have to see Pictou, Halifax, and 
the country between there and Eastport is our inducement." 


Notes in Labeadoe — Land on Euy's Island — Wandeeings Ovbeland — 
PicTOTj — Peofessob McCuLLOuaH — Teueo and the Bat of Fundy — 
* Akeival at Halifax, Nova Scotia — Aeeival at New Yoek, and 
Calculation of Expenses. 

" August 22. Aftek attempting to beat our vessel into the 
harbour of Pictou, but without succeeding, we concluded that 
myself and party should be put on shore, and the Eipley should 
sail back to the Straits of Oanseau, the wind and tide being 
favourable. We drank a parting glass to our wives and friends, 
and our excellent little captain took us to the shore, whilst the 
vessel stood up to the wind, with all sails set, waiting for the 

" We happened to land on an island called Euy's Island, where, 
fortunately for us, we met some men making hay. Two of them 
agreed to carry our trunks and two of our party to Pictou for 
two dollars.' Our effects were put in a boat in a trice, and we 
shook hands heartily with the captain, towards whom we all 
now feel much real attachment, and after mutual adieus, and 
good wishes for the completion of our respective journeys, we 
parted, giving each other three most hearty cheers. 

" We were now, thank God, positively on the main shore of 
our native land; and after four days' confinement in our 
berths, and sea-sickness, and the sea and vessel, and all their 
smells and discomforts, we were so refreshed, that the thought 
of walking nine miles seemed nothing more than figuring through 
a single quadrille. The air felt uncommonly warm, and the 


country, compared with those we had so lately left, appeared 
perfectly beautiful, and we inhaled the fragrance of the new- 
mown grass, as if nothing sweeter ever existed. Even the music 
of crickets was delightful to my ears, for no such insect is to be 
found either at Labrador or Newfoundland. The voice of a 
blue jay sounded melody to me, and the sight of a humming- 
bird quite filled my mind with delight. 

" We were conveyed to the main, only a very short distance, 
Ingalls and Coolidge remaining in the boat ; and the rest took 
the road, along which we moved as lightly as if boys just released 
from school. The road was good, or seemed to be so; the 
woods were tall timber, and the air, which circulated freely, was 
all perfume ; and every plant we saw brought to mind some 
portion of the United States, and we all felt quite happy. Now 
and then as we crossed a hill, and cast our eyes back on the sea, 
we saw our beautiful vessel sailing freely before the wind, and 
as she diminished towards the horizon, she at last appeared like 
a white speck, or an eagle floating in the air, and we wished our 
captain a most safe voyage to Quoddy, 

" We reached the shore opposite Pictou in two and a half 
hours, and lay down on the grass to await the arrival of the 
boat, and gazed on the scenery around us. A number of 
American vessels lay in the harbour loading with coal. The 
village located at the bottom of a fine bay on the north-west 
side looked well, although smalL Three churches appeared 
above the rest of the buildings, all of wood, and several vessels 
were building on the stocks. 

" The whole country seemed to be in a high state of cultivation, 
and looked well. The population is about two thousand. Our 
boat came, and we crossed the bay, and put up at the Royal 
Oak, the best hotel in the place, where we obtained an excellent 
supper. The very treading of a carpeted floor was comfortable. 
In the evening we called on Professor McCuUough, who received 
us kindly, gave us a glass of wine, and showed us his collection 
of weU-preserved birds and other things, and invited us to break- 
i'ast to-morrow at eight o'clock, when we are further to inspect 
his curiosities. The professor's mansion is a quarter of a mile 
from the town, and looks much like a small English villa. 

" August 23. We had an excellent Scotch breakfast at the 


professor's this morning, and his family, consisting of wife, four 
sons and daughters, and a wife's sister, were all present. The 
more I saw and talked with the professor, the more I was 
pleased with him. I showed him a few of my Labrador drawings, 
after which we marched in a body to the university, and again 
examined his fine collection. I found there half a dozen 
specimens of birds, which I longed for, and said so, and he 
oifered them to me with so much apparent good will, that I 
took them and thanked him. He then asked me to look around 
and see if there were any other objects I would like to have. 
He offered me all his fresh-water shells, and such minerals as 
we might choose, and I took a few specimens of iron and copper. 
He asked me what I thought of his collection, and I gave him 
my answer in writing, adding F.E.S. to my name, and telling 
him that I wished it might prove useful to him. T am much 
surprised that his valuable collection had not been purchased by 
the Governor of the province, to whom he offered it for five 
hundred pounds. I think it worth a thousand pounds. 

" On our return to the hotel we were met by Mr. Blanchard, 
the deputy consul for the United States, an agreeable man, who 
oifered frankly to do anything in his power to make our visit 
fruitful and pleasant. ' Time up,' and the coach almost ready, 
our bill was paid, our birds packed, and I walked ahead about a 
mile out of the town, with Mr. Blanchard, who spoke much of 
England, and was acquainted with Mr. Adamson, and some 
other friends whom I knew at Newcastle-on-Tyne. 

" The coach came up, I shook hands with Mr. Blanchard, 
jumped in, and away we went for Truro, distant forty miles. 
The rain began to fall, and the wind to blow from the east, a 
good wind for the Kipley, and on we rolled on as good a road as 
any in England, were it only a little broader. We now passed 
through a fine tract of country, well wooded, well cultivated, and 
a wonderful relief to our fatigued eyes, which had so long been 
seeing only desolate regions, snow, and tempestuous storms. 

" By four in the afternoon we were hungry, and stopped at a 
house to dine, and it now rained faster than before. Two ladies, 
and the husband of one of them as I supposed, had arrived before 
us, in an open cart or Jersey waggon ; and I, with all the 
gallantry belong to my nature, offered to exchange vehicles 


with them, which they readily accepted, but without expressing 
any thanks in return. After dinner Shattuck, Ingalls, and 
myself jumped into the open thing j I was seated by the side of 
my so-so Irish dame, and our horse moved off at a very good 

" Our exchange soon proved an excellent one, for the weather 
cleared up, and we saw the country much better than we could 
have done in the coach, where there were so many passengers 
that we should have been squeezed together closely. Directly 
Professor McCullough came up with us, and told us he would, 
see us to-morrow at Truro. Towards sunset we arrived in 
sight of this pretty, loosely-built village, near the head-waters 
of the Bay of Fundy. The view filled me with delight, and 
the pleasure was deepened by the consciousness that my course 
was homeward, and I was but a few days from the dearest being 
to me on earth. 

" We reached the tavern, which the hotel where we stopped 
was called, but as it could accommodate only three of us, we 
crossed the street to another house, where we ordered a substan- 
tial supper. Professor McCullough came in, and introduced us 
to several members of the Assembly of this province. 

" We tried in vain to get a conveyance to take us to Halifax, 
distant sixty-four miles, in the morning, to avoid riding all night 
in the mail-coach, but could not succeed. Mr. McCullough then 
took me to the residence of Samuel G. Archibald, Esq., Speaker 
of the Assembly, who received me most affably, and introduced me 
to his lady and handsome young daughter ; the former wore a 
cap fashionable four years ago at home (England). I showed 
them a few drawings, and received a letter from the Speaker to 
the Chief Justice at Halifax, and bid them all good-night ; and 
am now waiting the mail to resume my journey. Meanwhile 
let me say a few words on this little village. It is situated in 
the centre of a most beautiful valley of great extent, and under 
complete cultivation : looking westerly a broad sheet of water 
is seen, forming the head of the famous Bay of Fundy, and 
several brooks run through the valley emptying into it. The 
buildings, although principally of wood, are good-looking, and as 
cleanly as any of our pretty New England villages, well painted, 
and green blinds. The general appearance of the people quite 


took me by surprise, being extremely genteel. The coacb is at 
tbe door, the corner of my trunk is gasping to swallow this book, 
and I must put it in and be off. 

" August 24. Wind east, and hauling to the north-east — all 
good for the Ripley. We are at Halifax, Nova Scotia, and this 
is the way we got here : — Last night at eleven we seated our- 
selves in the coach ; the moon shone bright, and the night was 
beautiful; but we could only partially observe the country until 
the day dawned. But we found out that the road was hilly and 
the horses lazy, and after riding twenty miles we stopped to 
change horses and warm ourselves. Shortly the cry came, 
' Coach ready, gentlemen.' In we jumped, and on we rode for a 
mile and a half, when the linch-pin broke, and we came to a 
stand-still. Ingalls took charge of the horses, and responded to 
the hoot of the owls, which sounded out from the woods, and 
the rest of the party, excepting Coolidge and myself, slept 
soundly, while we were enduring that disagreeable of all ex- 
periences of travellers — detention — which is most disagreeable 
in this latitude, and especially at night. Looking up the road, 
the vacillating glimmer of the candle, intended to assist the 
driver in finding the linch-pin, was all that could be distinguished, 
and we began to feel what is called ' wolfish.' The man re- 
turned, but found no pin — it could not be found, and another 
quarter of an hour was spent in fumbling round with ropes to 
tie our vehicle together. At length the day dawned beautifully, 
and I ran ahead of the coach for a mile or so to warm myself ; 
and when the coach came up I got up with the driver to try to 
obtain some information respecting the country, which was 
becoming poorer and poorer the further we travelled. Hunger 
again now began to press us, and we were told that it was twenty- 
five miles from the lost linch-pin to the breakfast-house. I 
persuaded the driver to stop at a wayside tavern, and inquire 
the prospects for getting some chickens or boiled eggs ; but the 
proprietor said it was impossible for him to furm'sh a breakfast 
for six persons of our appearance. 

" We passed on, and soon came to the track of a good-sized 
bear in the road, and after a wearisome ride reached the break- 
fast ground, at a house situated, on the margin of a lake called 
Grand Lake, which abounds with fine fish, and soles in the 


season. This lake forms part of the channel which was intended 
to be cut for connecting the Atlantic Ocean and the Bay of 
Fundy with the Gulf of St. Lawrence at Bay Verte. Ninety 
thousand pounds have been expended on the enterprise, and the 
canal is not finished, and probably never will be; for the 
government will not assist, and private efforts seem to have 
exhausted themselves. This point is seventeen miles from 
Halifax, and must afford a pleasant residence for summer. 

" The road from that tavern to Halifax is level and good, 
though rather narrow, and a very fine drive for private carriages. 
We saw the flag of the garrison at Halifax, two miles before we 
reached the place, when we suddenly turned short, and brought 
up at a gate fronting a wharf, at which lay a small steam-ferry 
boat. The gate was shut, and the mail was detained nearly an 
hour waiting for it to be opened. Why did not Mrs. TroUope 
visit Halifax ? The number of negro men and women, beggarly- 
looking blacks, would have furnished materials for her descrip- 
tive pen. 

" We crossed the harbour, in which we saw a sixty-four gun 
flag-ship riding at anchor. The coach drove up to the house of 
Mr. Paul, the best hotel, where we with difiSculty obtained one 
room with four beds for six persons. With a population of 
eighteen thousand souls, and two thousand more of soldiers, 
Halifax has not one good hotel, and only two very indifferent 
private boarding-houses, where the attendance is miserable, and 
the table by no means good. W^e are, however, settled. 

"We have walked about the town; but every one of us 
has sore feet in consequence of walking on hard ground, after 
having roamed for two months on the soft, deep mosses of 
Labrador. The card of an Italian was sent to our rooms, telling 
us that he had fine baths of all sorts, and we went off to his 
rooms and found only one tin tub, and a hole underground, into 
which the sea-water filters, about the size of a hogshead. I 
plunged into this hole with Ingalls and Shattuck, then rubbed 
ourselves dry with curious towels, and paid six cents each for 
the accommodation. We then walked to the garrison, listened 
to the music, returned to the hotel, and have written this, and 
now send in my card to the aide-de-camp of the Governor of 
Newfoundland, who resides in this house. 


" August 25. To-day I walked to the wharves, and was surprised 
to find them every one gated and locked, and sentinels standing 
guard everywhere. In the afternoon there was a military 
funeral ; it was a grand sight, the soldiers walked far apart, 
guns inverted, to the sound of the finest anthem, and wonder- 
fully well executed by an excellent band. 

" There are no signs of style here ; only two ordinary barouches 
came to church to-day (the Episcopal), where the bishop said 
the prayers and preached. All the churches receive a certain 
number of soldiers dressed in uniform. The natives of the 
province are called ' Blue Noses,' and to-morrow we intend to 
see all we can of them. 

" August 26. To-day I delivered letters which I brought to 
Bishop Inglis and the Chief Justice, but did not find them at 
home. To-morrow we hope to leave here for Windsor, distant 
forty-five miles. 

" August 27. At nine o'clock we entered the coach, or rather 
five of us entered it, as it would hold no more, and one was 
obliged to take an outside seat in the rain. The road from 
Halifax to Windsor is macadamized and good, winding through 
undulating hills and valleys ; our horses were good, and although 
we had but one pair at a time, we travelled six and a half miles 
an hour. For more than nine miles our course was along the 
borders of the Bay of Halifax ; the view was pleasant, and here 
and there we noticed tolerable good-looking summer-houses. 
Near the head of this bay, said the driver, an English fleet 
pursued a squadron of seven French ships, and forced them to 
haul down their colours ; but the French commander, or admiral, 
sunk all his vessels, preferring to do this to surrendering them 
to the British. The water was so deep at this place that the 
tops of the masts of the vessels went deep out of sight, and have 
been seen only once since then, which was more than twenty 
years ago. 

"We passed the abandoned lodge of Prince Edward, who 
spent about one million of pounds on this building and the 
grounds, but the whole is now a ruin ; thirty years have passed 
since it was in its splendour. On leaving the waters of the bay, 
we followed those of the Salmon Eiver, a small rivulet of swift 
water, which abounds with salmon, trout, elwines, &c. The 

X 2 


whole coufitry is poor, very poor, yet under tolerable cultivation 
all the way. We passed the seat of Mr. Jeffries, the President 
of the Assembly, now Acting Governor ; his house is good-looking, 
large, and the grounds around it are in fine order. It is situated 
between two handsome. fresh- water lakes; indeed the whole 
country through which we travelled is interspersed with lakes, all 
of them abounding in trout and eels. 

"We passed the college and common school, both looking 
well, and built of fine freestone ; a church and several other fine 
buildings line the road, on which the president and rector reside. 
We crossed the head of the St. Croix Eiver, which rolls its 
waters impetuously into the Bay of Fundy. Here the lands were 
all dyked, and the crops looked very well, and from that river to 
Windsor the country improved rapidly. 

" Windsor is a small and rather neat village, on the east side 
of the Eiver Windsor, and is supported by the vast banks of 
plaster of Paris around it. This valuable article is shipped in 
British vessels to Eastport and elsewhere in large quantities. 

" Our coach stopped at the door of the best private boarding- 
house, for nowhere in this province have we heard of hotels. 
The house was full, and we went to another, where, after waiting 
two hours, we obtained an indifferent supper. The view from 
this village was as novel to me as the coast of Labrador. The 
bed of the river, which is here about one mile wide, was quite 
bare as far as the eye could reach, say for ten miles, scarcely any 
water to be seen, and yet the place where we stood was sixty- 
five feet above the bed, which plainly showed that at high tide 
this wonderful basin must be filled ;to the brim. Opposite us, 
and indeed the whole country, is dyked in ; and vessels left dry 
at the great elevation, fastened to the wharves, had a singular 
appearance. We are told that now and then some vessels have 
slid sideways from the top of the bank down to the level of the 
gravelly bed of the river. The shores are covered for a hundred 
yards with a reddish mud. This looks more like the result of a 
great freshet than of a tide, and I long to see the waters of the 
sea advancing at the rate of four knots an hour to fill this basin, 
a sight I hope to see to-morrow." 

August 28. Here follows the description of the extraordinary 
rise and fall of the waters, and they are evidently the notes 


from which Audubon wrote^his episode of the Bay of Fundy. 
The day was passed in rambling in search of birds in this vicinity. 
The record for the day concludes : " We intended to have paid our 
respects to Mr. Halliburton, author of the ' Description of Nova 
Scotia,' and other works, but we learned that he was in Boston, 
where I heartily wished myself. 

" Eastport, Maine, August 31, 1833. We arrived here 
yesterday afternoon in the steamer Maid of the Mist, all well. 
We left Windsor a quarter before twelve, and reached St. John's, 
New Brunswick, at two o'clock at night ; passed Cape Blow-me- 
Down, Cape Split, and Cape D'Or; the passengers were few, 
and we were comfortable. We traversed the streets of St. 
John's by moonlight, and in the morning I had the pleasure to 
meet my friend Edward Harris, and to receive letters from 
home ; and I am now preparing to leave for Boston as soon as 

The account of the .voyage concludes with this sentence: 
" We reached New York on the morning of the 7th of Sep- 
tember, and, thank God, found all well. I paid the balance of 
the Eipley's charter (eight hundred and sixty-two dollars), and 
a balance of four hundred and thirty dollai-s to Dr. Parkman, 
which he advanced to Dr. Shattuck for me. And I was not very 
well pleased that nearly the whole burden of the Labrador 
voyage was put on my shoulders, or rather taken out of my 
poor purse ; but I was silent, and no one knew my thoughts on 
that subject." 



Journal Eestjmed — En Eoute to Flobiba — A Friendly Letter — Calls 
ON Governor Cass, Secebtart op War — Washington Irving — 
Wanderings South — Florida Excursion Abandoned — Returns 

September 7, 1833. After Audubon's return from Labrador he 
remained three weeks in New York, and then made all his pre- 
parations for a journey to Florida. He forwarded to his son 
Victor, in England, thirteen drawings of land birds, which he 
had prepared to complete the second Tolume of the great work ; 
and he left seventeen drawings of sea birds to be forwarded in 
October, for the commencement of his third volume. As an 
evidence of the value Audubon set on these drawings, we may 
note that he insured both parcels for two thousand dollars 

September 25. Mr. and Mrs. Audubon left New York for 
Philadelphia on their way to Florida, leaving their son John to 
sail from New York by water, " with all our articles of war," for 
Charleston, where they proposed to meet. The journal says : " The 
weather was delightful, and we reached Philadelphia at three 
o'clock, and took lodgings with Mrs. Newlin, No. 112 Walnut 
Street. Here I called on some of my former friends and was 
kindly received. I visited several public places in the city, but 
no one stopped me to subscribe for my book." 

The following letter from Dr. McKenney of Philadelphia is 
inserted here as a capital specimen of a racy letter, and as 


evincing, moreover, how Audubon was estimated by his best 
friends : — 

" Philadelphia, September 30, 1833. 

" Mt dbae Governor, 

" 1 do not know when I have done a more acceptable 
service to my feelings, nor when I have been just in a situation 
to afford as much gratification to yours, as in presenting to 
your notice, and private and official friendship, the bearer, 
Mr. Audubon. It were superfluous to tell you who he is ; the 
whole world knows him and respects him, and no man in it has 
the heart to cherish or the head to appreciate him, and such a 
man, beyond th^ capacity of yourself. 

" Mr. Audubon makes no more of tracking it in all directions 
over this, and I may add other countries, than a shot star does 
in crossing the heavens. He goes after winged things, but 
sometimes need the aid of — a1? least a few feathers, to assist him 
the better to fly. He means to coast it again round Florida — 
make a track through Arkansas — ^go up the Missouri — pass on 
to the Eocky Mountains, and thence to the Pacific. He will 
require some of your official aid. I took an unmerited liberty 
with your name and readiness of purpose, and told him you 
were the very man ; and I need not say how happy I shall be 
to learn that you have endorsed my promise and ratified it. 
God bless you. 

" In haste, 
" Thos. L. MacKenney. 

" To the Hon. Lewis Cass, t'ecretary of War, 
Washington City." 

" Richmond,, Virginia, October (no date). Travelling through 
the hreeding-jplaces of our sjoeeies is far from being as interesting 
to me as it is to inspect the breeding-places of the feathery tribes 
of our country. Yet as it is the lot of every man like me to 
know something of both, to keep up the clue of my life, I must 
say something of the cities through which I pass, and of the 
events which transpire as I go along. 

" At Philadelphia I of course received no subscriptions ; nay, 
I was arrested there for debt,* and was on the point of being 

* One of his old partnership debts. 



taken to prison, had I not met with William Norris, Esq., wno 
kindly offered to be my bail. This event brings to my mind 
many disagreeable thoughts connected with my former business 
transactions, in which I was always the single loser, that I will 
only add I made all necessary arrangements to have it paid. 

" We left Philadelphia for Baltimore, where I obtained four 
new subscribers, and received many civilities, and especially 
from Mr. Theodore Anderson, the collector of the customs. He 
is fond of birds, and that made me fond of him. 

" From Baltimore we went to Washington, for the purpose of 
obtaining permission for myself to accompany an expedition to 
the Eocky Mountains under the patronage of the Government. 
Generals McCombe, Jessup, Colonel Abert, and'other influential 
persons received me as usual with marked kindness. I called 
on Governor Cass, Secretary of War, and met with a reception 
that nearly disheartened me. He said in an indifferent and 
cold manner that any request of that sort must be made in 
writing to the Department ; and it recalled to my mind how 
poor Wilson was treated by the famous Jefferson when he made 
a similar application to that great diplomatist. I had forgotten 
to take with me the flattering letter of introduction I had 
received from Dr. MacKenney, and I inquired if he would allow 
me to send him the letter : he said, ' Certainly, sir,' and I bowed 
and retired, determined never to trouble him or the War 
Department again. 

" I was revolving in my mind how I might get to the Eocky 
Mountains without the assistance of the Secretary of War, when 
I suddenly met with a friendly face, no less than Washington 
Irving's. I mentioned my errand to him and the answer I had 
received, and he thought I was mistaken. I might have been ; 
but those eyes of mine have discovered more truth in men's 
eyes than their mouths were willing to acknowledge. However, 
I listened to good Irving with patience and calmness, and he 
promised to see the Secretary of War; and he also at once 
accompanied me to Mr. 'Taney, the Secretary of the Treasury, 
who received me well, and at once kindly gave me a letter, 
granting me the privilege of the revenue cutters along the 
coast south of Delaware Bay." 

Mr. Audubon returned to Baltimore, took the bay steamer 


for Norfolk, went aboard tlie Potomac, which was there ready 
to sail for Eichmond, where he arrived at the above date. 
There he called on Governor Floyd, who promised to tiy to 
induce the State of Virginia to subscribe for his "Birds of 

" October 16. We left Richmond this morning in a stage well 
crammed with Italian musicians and southern merchants, arrived 
at .Petersburg at a late hour, dined, and were again crammed in 
a car drawn by a locomotive, which dragged us twelve miles an 
hour, and sent out sparks of fire enough to keep us constantly, busy 
in extinguishing them on our clothes. At Blakely we were again 
crammed into a stage, and dragged about two miles an hour. 
We crossed the Eoanoke Eiver by torchlight in a flat boat, 
passed through Halifax, Ealeigh, Fayetteville, and Columbia, 
where we spent the night. Here I met Dr. Glides, at whose 
house we passed the evening, and who assisted me greatly ; at 
his house I met President Thomas Cooper, who assured me he 
had seen a rattlesnake climb a fine rail fence on his land, if 
received from the treasury of the State four hundred and twenty! 
dollars on account of its subscription for one copy of the ' Birds / 
of America.' " 

Dreading the railway, he hired a carriage for forty dollars 
to proceed to Charleston, where he arrived in four days, and 
found his son John, and was kindly received, with his wife, by 
the Eev. John Backman. 

" Charleston, 8. C, October 24, 1833. Our time at Charleston 
has been altogether pleasant. The hospitality of our friends 
cannot be described, and now that we are likely to be connected 
by family ties I shall say no more on this head." John and 
Victor Audubon were subsequently married to daughters of 
this gentleman. 

" My time was well employed ; I hunted for new bird^ or 
searched for more knowledge of old. I drew ; I wrote many 
long pages. I obtained a few new subscribers, and made some 
collections on account of my work. 

" My proposed voyage to Florida, which was proposed for the 
3rd of November, was abandoned on account of the removal of 
my good friend Captain Eobert Day from his former station to 
New York, and I did not like to launch on the Florida reefs in 


the care of a young officer unknown to me ; and besides this, 
my son Victor wrote me from England desiring my return. So 
we began to prepare gradually for a retrograde movement 
towards the north, and on the 1st of March we left our friends 
and Charleston to return to New York. We trayelled through 
North and South Carolina, and reached Norfolk, Va., on the 
6th ; went up the bay to Washington, thence to Baltimore, and 
took lodgings at Theodore Anderson's in Fayette Street. 

" At Baltimore we saw all our friends and obtained three new 
subscribers, and lost one, a banker." Here Audubon remained 
about a month ; went to Philadelphia to collect money, which 
he found rather difficult ; and passed on to New York. 


Return to BsrsLAND — ^Visit to Baeon Rothschild — Queee Eeception — 
Eesults op the Visit — Eemoval to Edinburgh — Ketubn to Lon- 
don — Embaeks with much Live Stock fob New Yobk — Notes bt 
the Wat. 

Afril 16, 1834. After remaining two weeks in New York, 
Audubon, his wife, and son John, sailed on the above date 
for Liverpool, " in the superb packet, the North America, com- 
manded by that excellent gentleman, Mr. Dixey of Philadelphia. 
Our company was good ; our passage was good ; the first land 
^e saw was Holyhead, and in niaeteen days after leaving 
America we were put ashore in Old England." Audubon saw 
his friends in Liverpool, who had lost none of their former 
cordiality and kindness ; and after a few days he left with his 
family, by the way of Birmingham, for London. 

"May 12. We reached London to-day and found our son 
Victor quite well, and were all happy. My work and business 
was going on prosperously." After remaining several weeks in 
London, and seeing to matters relating to his publication there, 
Audubon and his son Victor went to deliver letters of in- 
troduction which they had brought. Among those letters was 
one from one of the firm of the distinguished American banking- 
house of Prime, Ward, and King, to the famous London banker, 
Eothschild. " The letter was addressed to Baron Eothscluld, 
the man who, notwithstanding his original poverty, is now so 
well known through his immense wealth, which he uses as 


banker, jobber, and lender of money. We found no difiSculty 
in ascertaining the place of business of . the great usurer. 
Business in London is thoroughly matter of fact ; no external 
pomp indicated the counting-house of the baron; there was 
nothing to distinguish it from those of men of less enormous 
capital; and we walked into his private office without any 
hindrance, and introduced ourselves without any introducer. 

" The Baron was not present, but we were told by a good- 
looking young gentleman that he would come in in a few 
minutes; and so he did. Soon a corpulent man appeared, 
hitching up his trousers, and a face red with the exertion of 
walking, and withoxit noticing any one present, dropped his fat 
body into a comfortable chair, as if caring for no one else in this 
wide world but himself. While the Baron sat, we stood, with , 
our hats held respectfully in our hands. I stepped forward, and 
with a bow tendered him my credentials. ' Pray, sir,' said the 
man of golden consequence, ' is this a letter of business, or is it 
a mere letter of introduction ?' This I could not well answer, 
for I had not read the contents of it, and I was forced to answer 
rather awkwardly that I could not tell. The banker then 
opened the letter, read it with the manner of one who was 
looking only at the temporal side of things, and after reading 

lit,' said, ' This is only a letter of introduction, and I expect from 

pts contents that you are the publisher of some book or other 

land need my subscription.' 

" Had a man the size of a mountain spoken to me in that 

jarrogant style in America, I should have indignantly resented 
(it ; but where I then was it seemed best to swallow and digest 
it as well as I could. So in reply to the offensive arrogance of 
this banker, I said I should be honoured by his subscription to 
the ' Birds of America.' ' Sir,' he said, ' I never sign my name 
to any subscription list, but you may send in yoiu* work and I 

jwUlpay for a copy of it. Gentlemen, I am busy, I wish you 

/ good-morning.' We were busy men, too, and so bowing respect- 
fully, we retired, pretty well satisfied with the small slice of his 
opulence which our labour was likely to obtain. 

" A few days afterwards I sent the first volume of my work 

[half bound, and all the numbers besides, then, published. On 
seeing them we were told that he ordered the bearer to take 


them to his house, which was done directly. Number aftef\ 
number was sent and delivered to the Baron, and after eight] 
or ten months my son made out his account and sent it by/ 
Mr. Hayell, my engraver, to his banking-house. The Baron' 
looked at it with amazement, and cried out, ' What, a hundred 
pounds for birds ! Why, sir, I will give you five pounds, and not a 
farthing more.' Eepresentations were made to him of the\ 
magnificence and expense of the work, and how pleased his 
Baroness and* wealthy children would be to have a copy ; but! 
the great financier was unrelenting. The copy of the work wa6( 
actually sent back to Mr. Havell's shop, and as I found thatj 
instituting legal proceedings against him would cost more than'' 
it would come to, I kept the work, and afterwards sold it to a 
man with less money but a nobler heart. What a distance '^ 
there is between two such men as the Baron Rothschild of 
London and the merchant of Savannah !" 

Audubon remained in London looking after his work and 
interests there until the fall of 1834, when he went with his 
family to Edinburgh, where he hired a house and spent a next 
year and a half. 

There is no journal describing the incidents of that residence 
in Edinburgh ; and it is probable, for the reason that Audubon 
did not keep a daily record there at all. The journal was 
written chiefly with the design to keep his wife and children 
informed of all his doings when he was absent from them, and 
they were with him during this period, and so there was no 
necessity for it ; and secondly, he was daily so busily occupied 
with other writing that he had no time to devote to that, or 
even his favourite work of drawing and painting. Some idea 
of the amount of his labour at that period may be inferred 
from the fact, that the introduction to volume second of his 
" American Ornithological Biography," which contains five hun- 
dred and eighty-five pages of closely-printed matter, is dated 
December 1st, 1834 ; and that in just one year from that date, 
the third volimie, containing six hundred and thirty-eight pages, 
was printed and published. 

In the summer of 1836 he removed his family to London, 
and having settled them in Wimpole-street, Cavendish Square, 
he again made his preparations to return to America, and 


make the excursion into some of the southern States, which 
he had been contemplating for a long time, for the purpose of 
increasing the new varieties of birds for his great work. 

July 30, 1836, the journal begins, saying that Mr. Audubon 
left London that day with his son John for Portsmouth, where 
he arrived the next day, and took passage on board the packet 
ship Gladiator, Captain Britton, for New York. 

"August 1. Somewhat before the setting of the sun we went 
on board, ate and drank, and laid ourselves down*in those float- 
ing catacombs, vulgarly called berths. When the Gladiator left 
1st. Katherine's Dock she had on our account two hundred and 
sixty live birds, three dogs received as a present from our noble 
friend, the Earl of Derby, and a brace of tailless cats from our 
friend George Thackery, D.D., provost of King's College. They 
had been on board several days, and seemed not to have received 
much care, and some of the birds had died. But the dogs and 
some of the birds were alive, and crossed the Atlantic safely. 

August 2. About five this afternoon the anchor was apeak, 
several new persons were hoisted on deck, our sails were spread 
to the breeze, and the Gladiator smoothly glided on her course. 
The passengers were a fair average as to agreeability, and 
among them was Wallack the actor, who amused us with some 
admirable puns. The voyage was prosperous, and the time 
passed pleasantly, until we approached the banks of Newfound- 
land, when we began to fear and dream of icebergs and disasters ; 
but none came, and the Gladiator kept her course steadily 
onward, when, just five weeks after leaving England, in the 
afternoon, the highlands of Neversink were discovered, about 
fifteen miles distant. The welcome news of our approach to 
the Hook thrilled my heart with ecstacy. 

"The evening was dark, and no pilot in sight; and rockets 
were thrown up from the ship to attract one. This soon brought 
one alongside, and an American tar leaped on board. Oh ! my 
Lucy, thou knowest me, but I cried like a child, and when our 
anchor was dropped, and rested on the ground of America, thy 
poor husband laid himself down on his knees, and there thanked 
God for His preservation of myseK and our dear son. 

" All was now bustle and mutual congratulations ; our com- 
mander was praised for his skill by some, and others praised his 


whiskey punch, which the waiters handed about, and the night 
was nearly spent in revelry ; but John and myself retired at 
two o'clock. 

" It rained hard and blew all night, but I slept comfortably, 
and awoke the next morning at four o'clock as happy as any 
man could be three thousand miles from the dearest friend he 
had on earth. As a gleam of daylight . appeared, my eyes 
searched through the hazy atmosphere to catch a glimpse of 
the land, and gradually Staten Island opened on my view ; then 
the boat of the custom-house officer appeared, and soon he 
boarded us, arranged the sailors and passengers on deck, and 
called their names. Then followed breakfkst, and soon another 
boat with a yellow flag flying landed the health officer, and 
there being no sickness on board, myself and John returned to 
Staten Island in the doctor's boat, and were taken by the 
steamer Hercules to the city, where we were welcomed by 
relatives and friends." 



Isr America — Dblawaeb Eivbr — Philabblphia — Boston — Feibnds and 
Birds — Thomas Nttttall — ^Excursion to Salem — A "Beautiful 
Blue-Stocking" — Meeting with Daniel Webster — Back to Kbw 
York — Social Meetings — Thoughts coNCBRNma Wilson the Or- 

Seftemler 13. Audubon remained in New York until this date, 
obtained two subscribers and the promise of two more, visited 
the markets and found a few specimens of new birds, and left 
for Philadelphia ; paid three doUars for his fare on the steamer 
Swan, and fifty cents for his dinner ; " but," the journal adds, 
" we were too thick to thrive. I could get only a piece of 
bread and butter, snatched from the table at a favourable 

" I found the country through which we passed greatly im- 
proved, dotted with new buildings, and the Delaware Eiver 
seemed to me handsomer than ever. I reached Philadelphia 
at six o'clock p.m:., and found Dr. Harlan waiting for me on the 
wharf, and he took me in his carriage to his hospitable house, 
where I was happy in the presence of his amiable wife and 
interesting son. 

" September 14. Went to the market with Dr. Harlan at five 
o'clock this morning ; certainly this market is the finest one in 
America. The flesh, fi^h, &uit and vegetables, and fowls, are 
abundant, and about fifty per cent, less than in New York ; 
where, in fact, much of the produce of Pennsylvania and New 
Jersey is taken now-a-days for sale — even game ! I bought two 


soras (cedar birds) for forty cents, that in New York would 
have brought fifty cents. After breakfast went to the Academy 
of Natural Sciences, met Dr. Pickering, and had a great treat in 
looking over and handling the rare collection made by Nuttall 
and Townsend in their excursion on and over the Kocky Moun- 
tains. It belongs to the Academy, which assisted the travellers 
with funds to prosecute their journey ; it contains about forty 
new species of birds, and its value cannot be described." 

Audubon spent only a day or two in Philadelphia, saw 
his old friends there, was present at one of the meetings of the 
■Academy, obtained a few new birds, and returned to New York. 
Mr. Edward Harris, his old friend, called to see him ; and when 
he was told of the new species of birds obtained by Townsend, 
" offered to give me five hundred dollars towards purchasing 
them. Is not this a noble generosity to show for the love of 
science ?" 

"Boston, September 20, 1836. I came here from New York, 
via the steamer Massachusetts and the Providence Eailroad, 
for seven dollars, which included supper and breakfast. There 
were three hundred passengers, and among them several persons 
known to me. A thick fog compelled the steamer to anchor at 
midnight; in the morning our sail up the bay to Providence 
was like a fairy dream. Nature looked so beautiful and grand, 
and so congenial to my feelings, that I wanted nothing but thy 
dear self here, Lucy, to complete my happiness. The locomotive 
pulled us from Providence to Boston at the rate of fifteen miles 
an hour ; we arrived at four p.m. ; a cart took my trunk, and 
seating myself by the side of the owner, we drove to the house 
of my friend Dr. George C. Shattuck. The family soon 
gathered for tea, and I was now happy, and after talking for a 
while I retired to rest in the same room and bed where John 
and I slept after our return from Labrador." 

Audubon spent several days in Boston visiting the public in- 
stitutions and his friends, among whom he mentions Mr. Everett, 
Dr. Bowditch, Dr. Gould, and Mr. David, " where I found Maria/ 

D , now Mrs. Motley, as handsome as ever, and her husband', 

not far short of seven feet high." 

" September 20. Went to the market and bought a fine pigeon 
hawk for two cents, which is now found in Massachusetts. 



Visited Eoxbury with Thomas Brewer, a young man of much 
ornithological taste, to see his collection of skins and eggs: 
found his mother and family very kind and obliging, and received 
from him seven eggs of such species as I have not. Eeturned 
and visited David Eckley, the great salmon fisher : promised to 
breakfast with him to-morrow. 

" Se^temler 21. Went to market and bought a female blue 
teal for ten cents- Called on Dr. Storer, and heard that our 
learned friend Thomas Nuttall had just returned from California. 
I sent Mr. Brewer after him, and waited with impatience for a 
sight of the great traveller, whom we admired so much when 
we were in this fine city. In he came, Lucy, the very same 
Thomas Nuttall, and in a few minutes we discussed a con- 
siderable portion of his travels, adventures, and happy return to 
this land of happiness. He promised to obtain me duplicates of 
all the species he had brought for the Academy at Philadelphia, 
and to breakfast with us to-morrow, and we parted as we 
have before, friends, bent on the promotion of the science we 

" Sepiemher 22. This has been a day of days with me ; Nuttall 
breakfasted with us, and related much of his journey on the 
Pacific, and presented me with five new species of birds obtained 
by himself, and which are named after him. One of Dr. Shat- 
tuck's students drove me in the doctor's gig to call on Governor 
Everett, who received me as kindly as ever ; and then to the 
house of President Tinnay of Harvard University, where I saw his 
family ; and then to Judge Story's. Then crossing the country, 
we drove to Col. J. H. Perkins', and on the way I bought a fine 
male white-headed eagle for five dollars. On my return I 
learned that at a meeting of the Natural History Society yester- 
day a resolution was passed to subscribe for my work, 

" Dr. Bowditch advised me to go to Salem, and with his usual 
anxiety to promote the welfare of every one, gave me letters to 
Messrs. Peabody and Cleveland of that place, requesting them to 
interest themselves to get the Athenaeum to subscribe for my 

" Salem, Mass., September 23, 1836. Eose early this morning, 
and made preparations to go to Salem ; and at seven o'clock I 
was in the stage, rolling out of Boston towards this beautiful 


and quiet village. The road might be called semi-aquatic, as it 
passes over bridges and embankments through salt marshes of 
great extent, bounded by wooded hills towards the sea, and 
distant ones inland. We stopped a few moments at Shoemaker 
Town (Lynn), where I paid one dollar for my fare, and reached 
this place afterwards at half-past ten." 

" I was put down at the Lafayette Hotel, and soon made my 
way to Mr. Cleveland's office ; he received me kindly, and invited 
me to dine with him at one o'clock. I took some back numbers 
of my ' Birds of America ' to Miss Burley, and found her as good, 
amiable, and generous as ever ; and she at once interested herself 
to make the object of my visit successful. Called on Dr. Pierson, 
to whom I had a letter, and met a most congenial spirit, a man 
of talents and agreeable manners. The Doctor went with me to 
see several persons likely to be interested in my work ; and I 
then called alone on a Miss Sitsby, a beautiful ' blue,' seven or 
eight seasons beyond her teens, and very wealthy. Blues do 
not knit socks, or put on buttons when needed ; they may do 
for the parlour, but not for the kitchen. Although she has the 
eyes of a gazelle, and capital teeth, I soon discovered that she 
would be no help to me: when I mentioned subscription, it 
seemed to fall on her ears, not as the cadence of the wood thrush 
or mocking bird does in mine, but as a shower-bath in cold 
January. Ornithology seemed to be a thing for which she had 
no taste ; she said, however, ' I will suggest your wish to my 
father, sir, and give you an answer to-morrow morning.' She 
showed me some valuable pictures, especially one by that king 
of Spanish painters, Murillo, representing, himself, and gun, and 
dog ; the Spanish dress and tout ensemble brought to my mind 
my imaginations respecting Gril Bias. At last I bowed, she 
curtsied, and so the interview ended. 

" September 23. ' Chemin faisant.' I met the curator of the 
Natural History Society of Salem, and gladly accepted his 
invitation to examine the young collection of that new-born 
institution, and there I had the good fortune to find one egg of 
the American bittern. 

" It was now nearly one o'clock, and going to the office of 
Mr. Cleveland, I found him waiting to conduct me to his house. 
We soon entered it and his dining-room, where I saw three 

Y 2 


lovely daughters and a manly-looking youth, their brother. 
The dinner was excellent, and served simply ; but as our future 
bread and butter depend on my exertions, I excused myself as 
soon as convenient, and went to Dr. Pierson, who accompanied 
me to call on some gentlemen who would be likely to take an 
interest in my work." 

Audubon returned on September 24th to Boston, and remained 
there one week, visiting his friends and looking for subscribers 
to his Birds. 

" September 27. The citizens are all excitement; guns are 
firing, flags flying, and troops parading, and John Quincy 
Adams is delivering a eulogy on the late President Madison. 
The mayor of Boston did me the honour to invite me to join in 
the procession, but I am no politician, and declined. 

"I dined with Dr. B. C. Green, President of the Natural 
History Society, with President Quincy, Isaac P. Davis, and 
Mr. Nuttall. In the evening Dr. Shattuck finished the subscrip- 
tion list of the society, by presentiag me to his lady, who 
subscribed for one-tenth, and the Dr. then put down his son 
George's name for one-twentieth, making in his own family one- 
fourth of the whole, or two hundred and twenty dollars, for 
which he gave me his cheque. Without the asssistance of this 
generous man, it is more than probable that the society never 
would have had a copy of the ' Birds of America.' 

" Sefptemher 29. Mr. Isaac P. Davis called to invite me to 
spend the" evening at his house, and to meet Daniel Webster. 
I met him at the Historical Society, where I saw the last 
epaulets worn by our glorious Washington, many of his MS. 
letters, and the coat Benjamin Franklin wore at the French 
and English courts. 

" Mr. Davis has some fine pictures, which I enjoyed looking 
at, and after a while Daniel Webster came, and we welcomed 
each other as friends indeed, and after the usual compliments 
on such occasions we had much conversation respecting my 
publication. He told me he thought it likely a copyright of 
our great work might be secured to you and our children. We 
took tea, talked of ornithology and ornithologists ; he promised 
to send me some specimens of birds, and finished by subscribing 
to my work. I feel proud, Lucy, to have that great man's name 


on our list, and pray God to grant him a long life and a happy 
one. Mr. Webster gave me the following note : — 

" ' I take this mode of comipending Mr. Audubon to any 
friends of mine he may meet in his journey to the west, I 
have not only great respect for Mr. Audubon's scientific 
pursuits, but entertain for him personally much esteem and 
hearty good wishes. 

" ' Daniel Websteb.' " 

After obtaining a few more subscribers, and delivering some 
numbers of his birds to former subscribers, Audubon bid adieu 
to his friends in Boston, and returned to New York. 

" October 10. Had a pleasant call from Washington Irving, 
and promise of valuable letters to Van Buren and others in 
Washington. After dinner went to Mr. Cooper's, the naturalist, 
who at first with some reluctance showed me his birds. We 
talked of ornithology, and he gave me five pairs of sylvia, and 
promised to see me to-morrow. 

" October 11. At nine o'clock Mr. Cooper came to see me, and 
examined the third volume of our work. He remained two 
hours, conversing on our favourite study, and I was pleased to 
find him more generously inclined to forward my views after he 
had seen the new species given me by Nuttall. I went to his 
house with him, and he gave me several rare and valuable 
specimens, and promised me a list of the birds found by himself 
and Ward in the State of New York. 

" October 13. Called on Inman the painter ; saw the sketch 
intended for thee, but found it not at all like thy dear self. He 
says he makes twelve thousand dollars a year by his work. 
Dined at Samuel Swartout's, a grand dinner, with Mr. Fox, the 
British minister, Mr. Buckhead, secretary of legation, Thomas 
Moore the poet. Judge Parish, and sundry others. Mrs. S. 
and her daughter were present ; all went off in good style, and 
I greatly enjoyed myself. Several of the party invited me to 
visit them at their residences, and General Stewart of Baltimore 
invited me to make his house my home when I visited there. 

" October 15. We have packed our trunks and sent them on 
board the steamer, and leave this evening for Philadelphia. 


The weather has been perfectly serene and beautiful, and the 
Bay of New York never looked more magnificent and grand to 
me. We soon glided across its smooth surface and entered 
the narrow and sinuous Eantan ; and as I saw flocks of ducks 
winging their way southward, I felt happy in the thought that I 
should ere long follow them to their winter abode. We soon 
reached the railroad, and crossed to the Delaware, and before 
six o'clock reached the house of my good friend Dr. Harlan." 

Here Audubon saw many of his old friends, visited the 
public works and institutions, and obtained a few new species of 
birds. After speaking of the great changes in that city, the 
journal says : " Passed poor Alexander Wilson's school-house, and 
heaved a sigh. Alas, poor Wilson ! would that I could once 
more speak to thee, and listen to thy voice. When I was a 
youth, the woods stood unmolested here, looking wild and fresh 
as if just from the Creator's hands ; but now hundreds of streets 
cross them, and thousands of houses and millions of diverse 
improvements occupy their places : Barton's Garden is the only 
place which is unchanged. I walked in the same silentious 
mood I enjoyed on the same spot when first I visited the 
present owner of it, the descendant of William Barton, the 
generous friend of Wilson." 


Washington — Two Letters of Washington Ieving— Interview with 
THE President — Visits to Officials of Congress — Proposed 
Scientific Expedition — Dinner with Andrew Jackson. 

On November Stli, Audubon arrived in Wasbington. Among 
many otber letters of introduction given to people in Wash- 
ington, and transcribed carefully in the journal, are the two 
following from Washington Irving. 

TarrytowD, October 19, 1836. 
My dear Sib, 

This letter wiU be handed to you by our distinguished 
naturalist, Mr. J. J. Audubon. To one so purely devoted as 
yourself to anything liberal and enlightened, I know I need say 
nothing in recommendation of Mr. Audubon and his works; he 
himself will- best inform you of his views in Visiting Washington, 
and I am sure you will do anything in your power to promote 

He has heretofore received facilities on the part of the govern- 
ment, in prosecuting his researches along our coast, by giving 
him conveyance in our revenue cutters and other public vessels. 
I trust similar civilities will be extended to him, and that he 
will receive all aid and countenance in his excursions by land. 

The splendid works of Mr. Audubon, on the sale of which he 
depends for the remuneration of a life of labour, and for pro- 
vision for his family, necessarily, from the magnificence of its 


execution, is put beyond the means of most individuals. It 
must depend therefore on public institutions for its chief sale. 
As it is a national work, and highly creditable to the nation, it 
appears to me that it is particularly deserving of national 
patronage. Why cannot the departments of Washington furnish 
themselves with copies, to be deposited in their libraries or 
archives ? Think of these suggestions, and, if you approve of 
them, act accordingly. 

With the highest esteem and regard, 
I am, dear sir. 

Yours very truly, 

Washington Irving. 

Benjamin J. Butler, Esq., 
Attorney-General of the United States, Washington, D.C. 

TaiTytown, October 19, 1836. 
My dear Sie, 

I take pleasure in introducing to you our distinguished 
and most meritorious countryman, Mr, J. J. Audubon, whose 
splendid work on American ornithology must of course be well 
known to you. That work, while it reflects such great credit on 
our country, and contributes so largely to the advancement of 
one of the most delightful departments of science, is likely, from 
the extreme expense attendant upon it, to repay but poorly the 
indefatigable labour of a lifetime. The high price necessarily 
put on the copies of Mr. Audubon's magnificent work places it 
beyond the means of the generality of private individuals. It 
is entitled therefore to the especial countenance of our libraries 
and various other public institutions. It appears to me, that 
the different departments in Washington ought each to have a 
copy deposited in their libraries or archives. Should you be 
of the same opinion you might be of great advantage in pro- 
moting such a measure. 

Eeference is then made to the assistance rendered to 
Audubon by the revenue cutters and public vessels, and the 
letter continues : — 

I trust similar facilities will still Ije extended to him ; in 
fact, as his undertakings are of a decidedly national character. 


and conducive of great national benefit, the most liberal 
encouragement in every respect ought to be shown to him on 
the part of our government. 

I am, my dear Sir, 

Your attached Friend, 

Washington Ikying. 
The Hon. Maetin Van Bxjeen. 

"November 8." Called on Colonel Abert, who received me 
with his wonted civility, promised to assist me in all my desires, 
and walked with me to the President's, to present my letters. 
There we found Colonel Donaldson and Mr. Earle, both 
nephews, I believe, of General Jackson, and in a moment I was 
in the presence of this famed man, and had shaken his hand. 
He read Mr. Swartout's letter twice, with apparent care, and 
having finished, said, ' Mr. Audubon, I will do all in my power 
to serve you, but the Seminole war will, I fear, prevent you 
from having a cutter ; however, as we shall have a committee at 
twelve o'clock, we wiU consider this, and give you an answer to- 
morrow.' The general looked well, he was smoking his pipe, 
and gave my letters to Colonel Donaldson, who read them 
attentively, and as I left the room he followed us, and we talked 
to him respecting the subscription of the different departments. 
I like this man and his manners ; and I gave him the letters of 
the Duke of Sussex and the Governor of the Hudson Bay 
Company to read, and went to see Colonel Earle, who is engaged 
in painting General Jackson's portrait. 

" Colonel Abert then took me to Mr. Bradbury, Secretary 
of the Treasury, who received me very politely, and after reading 
my letters to him, promised me the use of the cutter. The 
subscription was also broached to him, but nothing decisive was 
said; and so we passed over to Mr. Butler's office, who is a 
young man. He read Washington Irviug's letter, laid it down, 
and began a long talk about his talents, and after a while came 
round to my business ; saying, that the government allows so 
little money to the departments, that he did not think it probable 
that their subscription could be obtained without a law to that 
effect from Congress. This opinion was anything but gratifying ; 
but he made many courteous promises to bring the matter 


before the next Congress, and I bid him adieu, hoping for the 

" Called on Mr. John S. Mechan, librarian to Congress, and 
found him among his books. After some agreeable conversation 
respecting his work and my own, he asked me to dine with him 
to-day, and to-morrow to visit the curious chimney-sweep pos- 
sessing curious knowledge of the Sora Kail, &c. Accompanied 
by John, I took tea at Colonel Abert's, and then walked to 
Mr. Bradbury's, to spend the evening. There the Colonel 
handed me an order for the use of the cutter, and informed me 
that the Treasury Department had subscribed for one copy of our 
work. Mr. Bradbury also offered us a passage to Charlestown 
in the cutter, Campbell, about to sail for that station. The 
vessel is only fifty-five tons ; and although Columbus crossed the 
Atlantic in search of a new world in a barque yet more frail, 
and although thy husband would go to the world's end after new 
birds on land, he would not like to go from Baltimore on such 
a vessel carrying three guns and twenty-one men. I am now 
hoping soon to see again the breeding grounds of the wood ibis, 
and the roseate spoonbill. 

"November 9. To day Colonel Abert called with me on 
Secretary Dickenson of the navy. He received us frankly, 
talked of the great naval and scientific expedition round the 
world now proposed to be fitted out by the government. To 
my surprise and delight his views coincided exactly with mine. 
He said he was opposed to frigates and large ships, and to great 
numbers of extra sailors on such an enterprise, when only 
peaceful objects were intended. We differed, however, respect- 
ing the number of the scientific corps : he was for a few, and I 
for duplicates at least ; because in case of death or illness some 
of the departments of science would suffer if only one person 
were sent. He asked me respecting the fitness of certain 
persons whose names had been mentioned for the voyage, Biat 
I gave evasive answers, not wishing to speak of individuals who 
are both unfit and inimical to me to this very day. Most 
sincerely do I hope that this, our first great national scientific 
expedition, may succeed, not only for the sake of science, but 
also for the honour of our beloved country. I strongly recom- 
mended George Lehman, my former assistant, as he is in every 


respect one of the best general draftsmen I know. I also 
recommended the son of Dr. McMurtrie (how strange, you will 
say), and young Eeynolds of Boston, as an entomologist. 

" The secretary paid me some compliments, and told me the 
moment the expedition had been mentioned he had thought of 
me, and Nuttall, and Pickering — a glorious tiio ! I wish to 
God that I were young once more ; how delighted I would be to 
go in such company — learned men and dear friends. He also 
took us to his house, to see the work published by the French 
government, of the voyages of L'Athalie, and presented by that 
government to our own. It is a magnificent production, quite 
French, and quite perfect. I next took John to the White 
House, which is the vulgar name for the President's residence. 
Mr. Earle introduced us, and John saw for the first time that 
extraordinary man. General Andrew Jackson. He was very 
kind, and as soon as he heard that we intended departing to- 
morrow evening for Charlestown, invited us to dine with him 
en famille. At the named hour we went to the White House, 
and were taken into a room, where the President soon joined us. 
I sat close to him; we spoke of olden times, and touched 
slightly on politics, and I found him very averse to the cause of 
the Texans. We talked also of the great naval expedition, 
European affairs, &c. Dinner being announced, we went to the 
table with his two nephews, Colonel Donaldson being in the 
truest sense of the word a gentleman. The dinner was what 
might be called plain and substantial in England ; I dined from 
a fine young turkey, shot within twenty miles of Washington. 
The general drank no wine, but his health was drunk by us 
more than once ; and he ate very moderately, his last dish con- 
sisting of bread and milk. As soon as dinner was over we 
returned to the first room, where was a picture, ay, a picture of 
our great Washington, painted by Stewart, when in the prime of 
his age and art. This picture, Lucy, was found during the war 

with England by Mrs. , who had it cut out of the frame, 

rolled up, and removed to the country, as Mr. Earle told me. 
It is the only picture in the whole house — so much for precious 
republican economy. Coffee was handed, and soon after John 
and I left, bidding adieu to a man who has done much good and 
much evil to our country." 



ExouEsiON South — Eaitbles kound Charleston — Starts in Cutteb for 
Galveston Bat, Texas — Babatabia Bat — Great Hunting Ex- 
cursion with a Squatter. 

" Charleston, 8. C, Novemher 17, 1836. We arrived here last 
evening, after an irksome and fatiguing journey, and seemingly 
very slowly performed, in my anxiety to reach a resting place, 
where friendship and love would combine to render our time 
happy, and the prosecution of our labour pleasant. We were 
hungry, thirsty, and dusty as ever two men could be ; but we 
found our dear friends all well, tears of joy ran from their eyes, 
and we embraced the whole of them as if borne from one 
mother. John Backman was absent from home, but returned 
at nine from his presidential chair at the Philosophical Society." 
Audubon passed the winter of 1836 and 1837 in Charleston, 
with his friend Dr. Backman, making occasional excursions into 
the country, to the neighbouring sea islands, and also to Sa- 
vannah and Elorida. But the Seminole war then raging, he 
was unable to penetrate much into the interior. This winter he 
began the studies in Natural History, which led to the publication 
of the Quadrupeds of North America, in connection with Dr. 
Backman. Early in the spring, he appears to have left Charles- 
ton, in the revenue cutter Campbell, Captain Coste, for explora- 
tions in the Gulf of Mexico. The journals are lost which 
describe the interval between the 17th of January and the 
1st of April, under which latter date we read that Audubon, 


his son John, and Mr. Edward Harris, came down from New 
Orleans, in the cutter, to the S. W. pass, provisioned for two 
months, and bound westwardly from the mouth of the Mississippi 
to Galveston Bay, in Texas, with the intention of exploring the 
harbour, keys, and bayous along the coast, and to examine the 
habits of the birds of this region, and to search for new species, 
to furnish materials for the completion of the fourth volume of 
the " Birds of America." 

" Ajpril 3. We were joined this day by Captain W. B. G 
Taylor, of the Eevenue service, with the schooner Crusader 
twelve tons burden, two guns, and four men completely equipped 
for our expedition, with a supply of seines, cast-nets, and other 

The same day they entered Barataria Bay, and began opera- 
tions, and found a variety of birds which are described in the 
journal. The next day the party landed, and made excursions 
in different directions, in pursuit of birds and eggs. Among 
the spoils of game taken this day, were two white pelicans, of 
which there was an abundance. 

The next three weeks were spent in visiting the islands and 
bayous, and penetrating some of the rivers which pour into the 
latter that occur along the coast between the Mississippi river 
and Galveston. . Tlie parties landed at various points, and found 
many new species of birds, and other interesting objects of 
Natural History. In the course of one of these rambles, Audubon 
made the acquaintance of a ■ squatter, a great hunter, and with 
whom he went on an excursion, which is thus described : — 

" I entered the squatter's cabin, and immediately opened a 
conversation with him respecting the situation of the swamp 
and its natural productions. He told me he thought it the 
very place I ought to visit, spoke of the game which it contained, 
and pointed to some bear and deer skins, adding, that the indi- 
viduals to which they had belonged formed but a small portion 
of the number of those animals which he had shot within it 
My heart swelled with delight; and on asking if he would 
accompany me through the great swamp, and allow me to 
become an inmate of his humble but hospitable mansion, I 
was gratified to find that he cordially assented to all my pro- 
posals, so I immediately unstrapped my drawing materials, laid 


up my gun, and sat down to partake of the homely but whole- 
some fare intended for the supper of the squatter, his wife, and 
his two sons. The quietness of the evening seemed in perfect 
accordance with the gentle demeanour of the family. The wife 
and children, I more than once thought, seemed to look upon 
me as a strange sort of person, going about, as I told them I 
was, in search of birds and plants ; and were I here to relate the 
many questions which they put to me, in return for those which I 
addressed to them, the catalogue would occupy several pages. 
The husband, a native of Connecticut, had heard of the existence 
of such men as myself, both in our own country and abroad, 
and seemed greatly pleased to have me under his roof. Supper 
over, I asked my kind host what had induced him to remove to 
this wild and solitary spot. 'The people are growing too 
numerous now to thrive in New England,' was his answer. I 
thought of the state of some parts of Europe, and calculating 
the denseness of their population, compared with that of New 
England, exclaimed to myself, how much more difficult must it 
be for men to thrive in those populous countries ! The conver- 
sation then changed, and the squatter, his sons and myself 
spoke of hunting and fishing, until at length tired, we laid our- 
selves down on pallets of bear-skins, and reposed in peace on 
the floor of the only apartment of which the hut consisted. Day 
dawned, and the squatter's call to his hogs, which, being almost 
in a wild state, were suffered to seek the greater portion of their 
food in the woods, awakened me. • Being ready dressed, I was 
not long in joining him. The hogs and their young came 
grunting at the well-known call of their owner, who threw them 
a few ears of corn, and counted them, but told me that for some 
weeks their number had been greatly diminished by the ravages 
committed upon them by a large panther, by which name the 
cougar is designated in America, and that the ravenous animal 
did not content himself with the flesh of his pigs, but now and 
then carried off one of his calves, notwithstanding the many 
attempts he had made to shoot it. The ' painter,' as he some- 
times called it, had on several occasions robbed him of a dead 
deer ; and to these exploits, the squatter added several remark- 
able feats of audacity which it had performed, to give me an 
idea of the formidable character of the beast. Delighted by his 


description, I offered to assist him in destroying the enemy ; at 
which he was highly pleased, but assured me that unless some 
of his neighbours should join us with their dogs and his own, 
the attempt would prove fruitless. .Soon after, mounting a 
horse, he went off to his neighbours, several of whom lived at a 
distance of some miles, and appointed a day of meeting. The 
hunters accordingly made their appearance one fine morning 
at the door of the cabin, just as the sun was emerging from 
beneath the horizon. They were five in number, and fully 
equipped for the chase, being mounted on horses, which in some 
parts of Europe might appgar sorry nags, but which in strength, 
speed, and bottom, are better fitted for pursuing a cougar or a 
bear through woods and morasses than any in their country. 
A pack of large ugly curs was already engaged in making 
acquaintance with those of the squatter. He and myself mouuted 
his two best horses, whilst his sons were bestriding others of 
inferior quality. Few words were uttered by the party until 
we had reached the edge of the swamp, where it was agreed 
that all should disperse, and seek for the fresh track of the 
* painter,' it being previously settled that the discoverer should 
blow his horn, and remain on the spot until the rest should 
join him. In less than an hour the sound of the horn was 
clearly heard, and sticking close to the squatter, off we went 
through the thick woods, guided only by the now-and-then 
repeated call of the distant huntsman. We soon reached the 
spot, and in a short time the rest of the party came up. The 
best dog was sent forward to track the cougar, and in a few 
moments the whole pack was observed diligently trailing and 
bearing in their course for the interior of the swamp. The 
rifles were immediately put in trim, and the party followed the 
dogs at separate distances, but in sight of each other, determined 
to shoot at no other game than the panther. 

" The dogs soon began to mouth, and suddenly quickened 
their pace. My companions concluded, that the beast was on 
the ground, and putting our horses to a gentle gaUop, we 
followed the curs, guided by their voices. The noise of the 
dogs increased, when all of a sudden their mode of barking 
became altered, and the squatter urging me to push on, told me 
that the beast was treed, by which he meant, that it had got 


upon some low branch of a large tree to rest for a few moments, 
and that should we not succeed in shooting him when thus 
situated, we might expect a long chase of it. As we approached 
the spot, we all by degrees united into a body, but on seeing the 
dogs at the foot of a large tree, separated again, and galloped 
off to surround it. Each hunter now moved with caution, hold- 
ing his gun ready, and allowing the bridle to dangle on the 
neck of his. horse, as it advanced slowly towards the dogs. A 
shot from one of the party was heard, on which the cougar was 
seen to leap to the ground, and bound off with such velocity as 
to show that he was very unwilling^ to stand our fire longer. 
The dogs set off in pursuit with great eagerness, and a deafening 
cry. The hunter who had fired came up and said that his ball 
had hit the monster, and had probably broken one of his fore- 
legs, near the shoulder, the only place at which he could aim. 
A slight trail of blood was discovered - on the ground, but the 
curs proceeded at such a rate that we merely noticed this, and 
put spurs to out horses, which galloped on towards the centre of 
the swamp. One bayou was crossed, then another stUl larger 
and more muddy, but the dogs were brushing forward, and as 
the horses began to pant at a furious rate, we judged it expedient 
to leave them, and advance on foot- These determined hunters 
knew that the cougar, being wounded, would shortly ascend 
another tree, where in all probability he would remain for a 
considerable time, and that it would be easy to follow the track 
of the dogs. We dismounted, took off the saddles and bridles, 
set the bells attached to the horses' necks at liberty to jingle, 
hoppled the animals, and left them to shift for themselves. 
Now kind reader, follow the group marching through the 
swamp, crossing muddy pools, and making the best of their way 
over fallen trees, and amongst the tangled rushes that now and 
then covered acres of ground. If you are a hunter yourself all 
this will appear nothing to you ; but if crowded assemblies of 
* beauty and fashion,' or the quiet enjoyment of your ' pleasure 
grounds ' delight you, I must mend my pen before I attempt to 
give you an idea of the pleasure felt on such an expedition. 
After marching for a couple of hours, we again heard the dogs : 
each of us pressed forward, elated at the thought of terminating 
the career of the cougar. Some of the dogs were heard whining, 


although the greater number barked vehemently. We felt 
assured that the cougar was treed, and that he would rest for 
some time to recover from his fatigue. As we came up to the 
dogs, we discovered the ferocious animal lying across a large 
branch, close to the trunk of a cotfon-wood tree. His broad 
breast lay towards us ; his eyes were at one time bent on us and 
again on the dogs beneath and around him ; one of his fore legs 
hung loosely by his side, and he lay crouched, with his ears 
lowered close to his head, as if he thought he might remain un- 
discovered. Three balls were fired at him at a given signal, on 
which he sprang a few feet from the branch, and tumbled head- 
long to the ground, attacked on all sides by the enraged curs. 
The infuriated cougar fought vrith desperate valour ; but the 
squatter advancing in front of the party, and, almost in the 
midst of the dogs, shot him immediately behind and beneath 
the left shoulder. The cougar writhed for a moment in agony, 
and in another lay dead. The sun was now sinking in the west. 
Two of the hunters separated from the rest to procure venison, 
whilst the squatter's sons were ordered to make the best of their 
way home, to be ready to feed the hogs in the morning. The 
rest of the party agreed to camp on the spot. The cougar was 
despoiled of the skin, and the carcass left to the hungry dogs. 
Whilst engaged in preparing our camp, we heard the report of 
a gun, and soon after one of our hunters returned with a small 
deer. A fire was lighted, and each hunter displayed his ' pone ' 
of bread, along with a flask of whisky. The deer was skinned 
in a trice, and slices placed on sticks before the fire. These 
materials afforded us an excellent meal ; and as the night grew 
darker, stories and songs went round, until my companions, 
fatigued, laid themselves down, close under the smoke of the fire, 
and soon fell asleep. I walked for some minutes round the 
camp to contemplate the beauties of that nature from which I 
have certainly derived my greatest pleasure. I thought of the 
occurrences of the day ; and glancing my eye around, remarked/ 
the singular effects produced by the phosphorescent qualities o:^ 
the large decayed trunks, which lay in all directions around me.; 
How easy, I "thought, would it be for the confused and agitated 
mind of a person bewildered in a swamp like this to imao-ine in 
each of these luminous masses some wondrous and fearful beingi 



/the very sight of which might make the hair stand erect on his 
jhead ! The thought of being myself placed in such a predica- 
ment burst upon my mind ; and I hastened to join my com- 
panions, beside whom I laid me down and slept, assured that no 
enemy would approach us without first rousing the dogs, which 
were growling in fierce dispute over tlie remains of the cougar. 
At daybreak we left our camp, the squatter bearing on his 
shoulders the skin of the late destroyer of his stock, and retraced 
our steps until we found our horses, which had not strayed far 
from the place where we left them. These we soon saddled ; 
and jogging along in a direct course, guided by the sun, con- 
gratulating each other on the destruction of so formidable a 
neighbour as the panther had been, we soon arrived at my host's 
cabin. The five neighbours partook of such refreshments as the 
house could afford, and, dispersing, returned to their homes, 
leaving me to follow my fiivonrite pursuits. 


Galveston Bay — Notes in Texas — Webtchbd Populatiok — Killing of 
A SwoBD-FisH — Buffalo Bayou — Pbbsident Houston and his 
House — Texan Capitol and Houses op Congbbss — Texan Mobs — 
Reaches New Oblbans — Chaeleston. 

"April 24. Aeeived in Galveston Bay this afternoon, having 
had a fine run from Achafalaga Bay. We were soon boarded 
by officers from the Texan vessels in the harbour, who informed 
us that two days before the U. S. sloop of war Natchez fell 
in with the Mexican squadron off the harbour of Velasco, cap- 
tured the brig Urea, and ran two other vessels ashore ; another 
report says they sunk another ship, and went in the pursuit of 
the squadron. These vessels were taken as pirates — tlie fleet 
having sailed from Vera Cruz without being provisioned, had 
been plundering American vessels on the coast. There is also 
a rumour that the Texan schooner Independence has been 
captured by a Mexican cruiser. The American schooner Flash 
was driven ashore a few days since by a Mexican cruiser, and 
now lies on the beach at the lower end of the island. 

" April 25. A heavy gale blew all night, and this morning the 
thermometer in the cabin is 63°, and thousands of birds, arrested 
by the storm in their migration northward, are seen hovering 
around our vessels and hiding in the grass, and some struggling 
in the water, completely exhausted. 

" We had a visit this morning from the secretary of the Texan 
navy, Mr. C. Ehodes Fisher, who breakfasted with us. He ap- 
peared to be a well-informed man, and talked a great deal about 

z 2 


the infant republic, and then left us for the seat of government 
at Houston, seventy miles distant, on the steamer Yellow Stone, 
accompanied by Captains Casto and Taylor, taking the Crusader 
in tow. 

" J^«7 26. Went ashore at Galveston. The only objects we 
saw of interest were the Mexican prisoners ; they are used as 
slaves ; made to carry wood and water, and cut grass for the 
horses, aud such work ; it is said that some are made to draw 
the plough. They all appear to be of delicate frame and con- 
stitution, but are not dejected in appearance. 

" April 27. We were off at an early hour for the island, two 
miles distant ; we waded nearly all the distance, so very shallow 
and filled with sandbanks is this famous bay. The men made 
a large fire to keep off the mosquitoes, which were annoying 
enough for even me. Besides many interesting birds, we found 
a new species of rattlesnake, with a double row of fangs on each 
side of its jaws. 

" April 28. We went on a deer-hunt on Galveston Island, 
where these animals are abundant ; we saw about twenty-five, 
and killed four. 

" April 29. John took a view of the rough village of Galveston, 
with the Lucida. We found much company on board on our 
return to the vessel, among whom was a contractor for beef for 
the army ; he was from Connecticut, and has a family residing 
near the famous battle-ground of San Jacinto. He promised 
me some skulls of Mexicans, and some plants, for he is bumped 
with botanical bumps somewhere. 

" Qalveston Bay, May 1, 1837. I was much fatigued this 
morning, and the muscles of my legs were swelled until they 
were purple, so that I could not go on shore. The musk-rat is 
the only small quadruped found here, and the common house- 
rat has not yet reached this part of the world. 

" May 2. Went ashore on Galveston Island, and landed on a 
point where the Texan garrison is quartered. We passed 
through the troops, and observed the miserable condition of the 
whole concern ; huts made of grass, and a few sticks or sods cut 
into square pieces composed the buildings of the poor Mexican 
prisoners, which, half clad and half naked, strolled about in a 
state of apparent inactivity. We passed two sentinels under 


arms, very unlike soldiers in appearance. The whole population 
seemed both indolent and reckless. We saw a few fowls, one 
pig, and a dog, which appeared to be all the domestic animals 
in the encampment. We saw only three women, who were 
Mexican prisoners. The soldiers' huts are placed in irregular 
rows, and at unequal distances ; a dirty blanket or coarse rag 
hangs over the entrance in place of a door. No windows were 
seen, except in one or two cabins occupied by Texan officers 
and soldiers. A dozen or more long guns lay about on the sand, 
and one of about the same calibre was mounted. There was a 
look-out house fronting and commanding the entrance to the 
harbour, and at the point where the three channels meet there 
were four guns mounted of smaller calibre. We readily observed 
that not much nicety prevailed among the Mexican prisoners, 
and we learned that their habits were as filthy as their persons. 
We also found a few beautiful flowers, and among them one 
which^Harris and I at once nicknamed the Texan daisy ; and 
we gathered a number of their seedsj hoping to make them 
flourish elsewhere. On the top of one of the huts we saw a 
badly-stuffed skin of a grey or black wolf, of the same species 
as I have seen on Jhe Missouri. When we were returning to 
the vessel we discovered a large sword-flsh grounded on one of 
the sandbanks, and after a sharp contest killed her with our 
guns. In what we took to be a continuation of the stomach of 
this fish, we found four young ones, and in another part re- 
sembling the stomach six more were packed, all of them alive 
and wriggling about as soon as they were thrown on the sand. 
It would be a fact worth solving to know if these fish carry their 
young like viviparous reptiles. The young were about thirty 
inches in length, and minute sharp teeth were already formed. 

" May 8. To-day we hoisted anchor, bound to Houston : after 
grounding a few times, we reached Eed Fish Bar, distant 
twelve mUes, where we found several American schooners and 
one brig. It blew hard all' night, and we were uncomfortable. 

" May 9. We left Eed Eish Bar' with the Crusader and the 
gig, and with a fair wind proceeded rapidly, and soon came up 
to the new-born town of New Washington, owned mostly by 
Mr. Swartout the collector of customs of New York. We passed 
several plantations ; and the general appearance of the country 


was more pleasing than otherwise. About noon we entered 
Buffalo Bayou, at the mouth of the St. Jacinto Eiver, and 
opposite the famous battle-ground of the same name. Pro- 
ceeding smoothly up the bayou, we saw abundance of game, 
and at the distance of some twenty miles stopped at the house 
of a Mr. Batterson. This bayou is usually sluggish, deep, and 
bordered on both sides with a strip of woods not exceeding a 
mile in depth. The banks have a gentle slope, and the soil on 
its shores is good; but the prairies in the rear are cold and 
generally wet, bored by innumerable clay fish, destitute of 
clover, but covered with coarse glass and weeds, with a sight 
here and there of a grove of timber, rising from a bed of cold, 
wet clay. 

It rained and lightened, and we passed the night at Mr. 
Batterson's. The tenth it rained again, but we pushed on to 
Houston, and arrived there wet and hungry. The rain had 
swollen the water in the bayon, and increased the current so 
that we wei-e eight hours rowing twelve miles. 

"May 15. We landed at Houston, the capital of Texas, 
drenched to the skin, and were kindly received on board the 
steamer Tallow Stone, Captain West, who, gave us his state- 
room to change our clothes, and furnished us refreshments and 

" The Buffalo Bayou had risen about six feet, and the neigh- 
bouring prairies were partly covered with water : there was a 
wild and desolate look cast on the surrounding scenery. We 
had already passed two little girls encamped on the bank of the 
bayon, under the cover of a few class-boards, cooking a scanty 
meal; shanties, cargoes of hogsheads, barrels, &c., were spread 
about the landing ; and Indians drunk and hallooing were 
stumbling about in the mud in every direction. These poor 
beings had come here to enter into a treaty proposed by the 
whites ; many of them were young and well looking, and with 
far less decorations than I have seen before on such occasions. 
The chief of the tribe is an old and corpulent man. 

" We walked towards the President's house, accompanied by 
the secretary of the navy, and as soon as we rose above the 
bank, we saw before us a level of far-extending prairie, destitute 
of timber, and rather poor soil. Houses half finished, and most 


of them without roofs, tents, and a liberty pole, with the capitol, 
were all exhibited to our view at once. We approached the 
President's mangion, however, wading through water above our 
ankles. This abode of President Houston is a small log-house, 
consisting of two rooms, and a passage through, after the 
southern fashion. The moment we stepped over the threshold, 
on the right hand of the passage we found ourselves ushered 
into what in other countries would be called the ante-chamber ; 
the ground-floor however was muddy and iilthy, a-large fire was 
burning, a small table covered with paper and writing materials, 
was in the centre, camp-beds, trunks, and different materials, 
were strewed around the room. We were at once presented to 
several members of the cabinet, some of whom bore the stamp 
of men of intellectual ability, simple, though bold, in their 
general appearance. Here we were presented to Mr. Crawford, 
an agent of the British Minister to Mexico, who has come here 
on some secret mission. 

"The President was engaged in the opposite room on national 
business, and we could not see him for some time. Meanwhile 
we amused ourselves by walking to the capitol, which was yet 
without a roof, and the floors, benches, and tables of both houses 
of Congress were as well saturated with water as our clothes 
had been in the morning. Being invited by one of the great 
men of the place to enter a booth to take a drink of grog with 
him, we did so ; but I was rather surprised that he offered his 
name, instead of the cash to the bar-keeper. 

" We first caught sight of President Houston as he walked 
from one of the grog-shops, where he had been to prevent the 
sale of ardent spirits. He was on his way to his house, and 
wore a large gray coarse hat ; and the bulk of his figure reminded 
me of the appearance of General Hopkins of Virginia, for like 
him he is upwards of six* feet high, and strong in proportion. 
But I observed a scowl in the expression of his eyes, that was 
forbidding and disagreeable. We reached his abode before him, 
but he soon came, and we were presented to his excellency. 
He was dressed in a fancy velvet coat, and trowsers trimmed 
with broad gold lace ; around his neck was tied a cravat some- 
what in the style of seventy-six. He received us kindly, was 
desirous of retaining us for a while, and offei-ed us every facility 


within his power. He at once removed us from the ante-room 
to his private chamber, which by the way was not much cleaner 
than the former. We were severally introduced by him to the 
different members of his cabinet and staff, and at once asked to 
drink grog with him, which we did, wishing success to his new 
republic. Our talk was short ; but the impression which was 
made on my mind at the time by himself, his officers, and his 
place of abode, can never be forgotten. 

" We returned to our boat through a melee of Indians and 
blackguards of all sorts. In giving a last glance back we once 
more noticed a number of horses rambling about the grounds, 
or tied beneath the few trees that have been spared by the axe. 
We also saw a liberty pole, erected on the anniversary of the 
battle of San Jacinto, on the twenty-first of last April, and were 
informed that a brave tar, who rigged the Texan flag on that 
occasion, had been personally rewarded by President Houston, 
with a town lot, a doubloon, and the privilege of keeping a 
ferry across the Buffalo Bayou at the town, where the bayou 
forks diverge in opposite directions. 

" May 16. Departed for New Washington, where we received 
kind attentions from Col. James Morgan ; crossed San Jacinto 
Bay to the Campbell, and the next day dropped down to 

" May 18. Left the bar of Galveston, having on board Mr. 
Crawford, British Consul at Pampico, and a Mr, Allen of New 

" May 24. Arrived at the S. W. Pass, and proceeded to the 
Belize, and thence to New Orleans, where we arrived in three 

"New Orleans, May 28. Breakfasted with Ex-Governor 
Roman and his delightful family, with Mr. Edward Harris." 

Audubon suffered greatly during this expedition to Texas, 
and lost twelve pounds in weight. He found New Orleans 
nearly deserted, and dull, and the weather oppressively hot and 

" May 31. We bid adieu to our New Orleans friends, leaving 
in their care for shipment our collections, clothing, and dog 
Dash for Mr. W. Bakewell. Harris went up the river, and we 
crossed to Mobile in the steamer Swan, paying fare twelve 


dollars each, and making the trip of one hundred and fifty miles 
in twenty-one hours. If New Orleans appeared prostrated, 
Mobile, seemed quite dead. We left in the afternoon for 
Stockton, Alabama, forty-five miles distant, where we were 
placed in a cart, and tumbled and tossed for one hundred and 
sixty-five miles to Montgomery ; fare twenty-three dollars each, 
miserable road and rascally fare. At Montgomery we took the 
mail coach, and were much relieved ; fare to Columbus twenty- 
six dollars each. Our travelling companions were without 
interest, the weather was suffocating, and the roads dirty and 
very rough ; we made but three- miles an hour for the whole 
journey, walking up the hills, and galloping down them to 
Augusta, and paying a fare of thirteen dollars and fifty cents 
each, and thence by rail to Charleston for six dollars and 
seVenty-five cents each, distance one hxmdred and thirty-six 
miles, and making eight and a half days from New Orleans." 



In England again — Literabt Labotjbs — Back to Ambbica. 

After remaining a short time in Charleston, Audubon re- 
turned to New York, and in the latter part of the summer sailed 
for Liverpool. After landing there and greeting his friends, 
he went to London, taking the new drawings he had made 
to Mr, Harrill, and then, after spending a few days with his 
family, departed for Edinburgh. There he went diligently to 
work in preparing the fourth volume of his " Ornithological 
Biography " for the press. This work held him until the fall 
of 1838, and was published in November of that year. His 
family now joined him in Edinburgh, and the winter was devoted 
to finishing the drawings for the completion of his great volume 
on the " Birds of America," and also to preparing his fifth volume 
of the " Ornithological Biography," which was published in 
Edinburgh in May 1839. 

In the fall of 1839 he returned to America with his family, 
and settled in New York city, there to spend the remainder of 
his days. But he did not intend to be idle, but immediately 
began preparing his last great ornithological work, which is a 
copy of his original English publication, with the figures reduced 
and lithographed, in seven octavo volumes. The first volume 
was published within a little more than a year after his return, 
two more volumes appeared in 1842, another in 1843, while 
he was absent on his expedition to the Yellow-stone River, and 
the last one after his return. 


Besides all this labour, he devoted occasional spare hours to 
improving and increasing the drawings of the quadrupeds of 
North America, which he had begun some years before in con- 
nection with the Rev. John Backman of South Carolina. 

The early pages of the journal show that Audubon had been 
anxious to visit the great interior valley of the Mississippi and 
the Rocky Mountains ever since he began to devote his time 
exclusively to ornithological research ; and twenty years before 
his return to America, he had traced out the course he wished 
to go. During all those years of unremitting toil, the desire 
and hope of seeing the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains 
never deserted him. But after he had resolved to complete and 
publish his work on the Quadrupeds of America, he felt that it 
would be impossible for him to do it satisfactorily until he had 
seen with his own eyes the buffaloes of the plains, and other 
animals of those regions whose habits had never been described. 

Much of his earthly work was done ; the infirmities of age were 
stealing upon him ; and the Journal often alludes to the fact that 
his physical powers were not equal to his mental longings. He 
seems to have determined therefore to make an effort to ac- 
complish the long-cherished desire of his heart, to look on the 
magnificent scenery of the prairies and mountains of the West, 
and to gather the materials for his Quadrupeds, which he knew 
would probably be his last work on earth. So as soon as he had 
settled his family at Minnie's Land, where he invested all the 
money he had made by his publications up to that date, he 
prepared at once for his last great journey, the grandest of all 
his journeys, to the Western Wilderness. 



Excursion to the Geeat Westekn Pbaibibs — Jedbdiah Ikish — Up the 


The Inundations — ^Indians eveeywhbbe — Dbepbe into the Wil- 


Ebcaree Indians — Indian Council on Boaed — Fobt Union — ^Abeival 
AT Yellow Stone Eivee — Buffalo Hunt — Small-Pox among the 
Indians — RbTuen to New Yoek. 

" March 11, 1843. Left New York this morning with my son 
Victor, on an expedition to the Yellow-stone Eiver, and regions 
adjacent and unknown, undertaken for the sake of our work 
on the ' Quadrupeds of North America,' and arrived in Phila- 
delphia late in the evening. 

" As we landed, a tall, robust-looking man, tapped me on the 
shoulder, whom I discovered in the dim darkness to be my 
friend, Jedediah Irish, of the Great Pine Swamp. I also met 
my friend, Edward Harris, who, besides John G. Bell, Isaac 
Sprague, and Lewis Squires, were to accompany me on this 
long campaign. The next morning we left for Baltimore, and 
Victor returned home to Minnie's Land." 

There are four folio volumes of MS. containing a detailed 
account of that whole journey, which lasted about eight months. 
But as most of the journals were inwoven into the three 
volumes on the " Quadrupeds of North America," which were 
published in the years 1846, 1851, and 1854, we give but an 
outline of the journey, and the gleanings of such incidents as 
were not used in those volumes. 


Auflubon and his party crossed the Alleghany Mountains to 
Wheeling, went from there to Cincinnati and St. Louis by 
steamers, where they arrived on the 28th of March. From 
thence they ascended the Missouii Eiver to Jefferson city, the 
capital of the State, about one hundred and seventy miles from 
St. Louis. There they saw nothing worthy of note except the 
State House and Penitentiary. 

The town was a poor-looking place, and the neighbouring 
country poor and broken ; but the public buildings commanded 
a fine view up and down the river. " Yesterday," says the 
Journal, " we passed many long lines of elevated banks, orna- 
mented by stupendous rocks of limestone, having many curious 
holes, into which we saw vultures and eagles enter towards 

"As we ascended the river the strength of the current 
increased, and in some places we stemmed it with difSculty ; 
and near Willow Islands it ran so rapidly, that we found our- 
selves going down stream, and were compelled to make fast to 
the shore. 

" Mareh 30. As we sail along the shores, I notice young 
willows and cotton-trees half submerged by the freshet, waving 
to and fro, as if trembling at the rage of the rushing water, and 
in fear of being destroyed by it ; and it really seemed as if the 
mighty current was going to overwhelm in its rage all that the 
Creator had lavished on its luxuriant shore. The banks are 
falling in and taking thousands of trees, and the current is 
bearing them away from the places where tbey have stood and 
grown for ages. It is an awful exemplification of the course of 
Nature, where all is conflict between life and death. 

" March 31. As we sail up the river, squatters and planters 
are seen abandoning their dwellings, which the water is over- 
flowing, and making towards the highlands, that are from one 
to four miles inland. We passed two houses filled with women 
and children, entirely surrounded by water ; the whole place 
was under water, and all around was a picture of utter desola- 
tion. The men had gone to seek assistance, and I was grieved 
that our captain did not offer to render them any ; the banks 
kept on falling in, and precipitating majestic trees into the 
devouring current. 


" May 2. We are now three hundred and eighty miles from 
St. Louis, and are landing freight and traders for Santa Fe. 

" May 3. We reached St Leavenworth this morning. The 
garrison here is on a fine elevation, commanding a good view 
of the river above and below for a considerable distance. 
Leaving here, we entered the real Indian country on the west 
side of the river ; for the State of Missouri, by the purchase of 
the Piatt River country, continues for two hundred and fifty 
miles farther ; and here only are any settlements of white 

"May 5. After grounding on sand-bars, and contending 
against head-winds and currents, we reached the Black Snake 
Hills settlement, which is a delightful site for a populous city 
that will be here some fifty years hence. The hills are two 
hundred feet above the level of the river, and slope down gently 
on the opposite side to the beautiful prairies, tnat extend over 
thousands of acres of the richest land imaginable. Here the 
general aspect of the river greatly changes ; it becomes more 
crooked, and filled with naked sand-bars, from which the wind 
whirls the sand in every direction. We passed through a 
narrow and swift chute, which, in the time of high water, must 
be extremely difficult to ascend. 

" May 6. We fastened our boat to the edge of a beautiful 
prairie, to land freight and passengers. Here eighty Indians 
came to visit us, some on foot and some on horseback, generally 
riding double, on skins and Spanish saddles; some squaws 
rode, and rode well. We landed some Indians here, who came 
as passengers with us, and I noticed that when they joined their 
relatives and friends, they neither shook hands nor exchanged 
any congratulations. I saw no emotion, nothing to corroborate 
Mr. Catlin's views of savage life. 

" When the boat started, all these Indians followed us along 
the shore, running on foot, and galloping on horseback to keep 
up with us. When we approached the next landing, I saw 
some of these poor creatures perched • on the neighbouring 
banks, while others crowded down to our landing-place. They 
belonged to the Iowa and Fox Indians : the two tribes number 
about twelve thousand, and their couiitry extends for seventy 
miles up the river. 


" May 8. To-day we passed the boundary of Missouri, and 
the country consists of prairies extending back to the inland 

" May 9. This evening we arrived at the famous settlement of 
Belle Vue, where the Indian agent, or custom-house officer, 
as he might better be called, resides. Here a large pack of 
rascally-looking, dirty, and half-starved Indians awaited our 
arrival ; and here we paid for iive cords of wood, with five tin 
cups of sugar, and three cups of coffee, all worth twenty-five 
cents at St. Louis. And we saw here the first ploughed ground 
we had seen since leaving the settlements near St. Louis. 

" May 10. Arrived at Fort Croghan, named after an old 
friend of that name, with whom I hunted racoons on his father's 
plantation in Kentucky, thirty-five years before. His father 
and mine were well acquainted, and fought together with the 
great General Washington and Lafayette, in the Eevolution 
War against ' Merry England.' The parade-ground here had 
been four feet under water in the late freshet. 

" May 11. The ofiScers of this post last July were nearly 
destitute of provision, and they sent off twenty dragoons and 
twenty Indians on a buffalo-hunt ; and within eighty miles of 
the fort, they killed fifty-one buffaloes, one hundred and four 
deer, and ten elks. 

" We were told that the Pattawotami Indians were formerly 
a warlike people, but recently their enemies, the Sioux, have 
frequently killed them, when they met them on hunting 
excursions, and that they have become quite cowardly, which 
is a great change in their character. 

" We cast off our lines from the shore at twelve o'clock, and by 
sunset reached the Council Bluffs, where the river-bed is utterly 
changed, though that called the Old Missouri is now visible. 
These Bluffs rise from a truly beautiful bank about forty feet 
above the river, and slope down into as beautiful a prairie to 
the hills in the rear, which render the scenery very fine and 
very remarkable. 

" May 12. We have arrived at the most crooked part of the 
river yet seen, the shores on both sides are lower, the hills are 
more distant, and the intervening plains are more or less 
covered with water. We passed the Blackbird Hills, where 


a famous Indian chief of this name was buried, and his horse 
buried alive with him at his request. 

" May 13. To-day we passed some beautiful bluffs, composed 
of a fine white sandstone, of a soft texture, but beautiful to the 
eye, and covered with cedars. We saw also many fine prairies ; 
and the bottom lands appeared to be of an extremely rich soil. 
Indians hailed us along the shore, but no notice was taken of 
them : they followed us to the next landing, and boarded us ; 
but our captain hates them, and they go away without a chew 
of tobacco, and T pity the poor creatures with all my heart. 

" This evening we came to the Burial-ground Bluff; so called 
by the ever-memorable expedition of Louis and Clark, because 
here they buried Sergeant Ployd, as they were on the way to 
the Pacific Ocean across the Eocky Mountains. The prairies 
are now more frequent and more elevated ; and we have seen- 
more evergreens to-day than in the two preceding weeks. 

" We have entered the mouth of the Big Sioux Eiver, which 
is a clear stream, abounding with fish : on one of its branches is 
found the famous red clay of which the Indians make their 
calmuts. We saw on the banks of the river several Indian 
canoe frames, formed of bent sticks made into a circle, the edges 
fastened together by a long pole or stick, with another one in 
the bottom, holding the frame Kke the inner keel of a boat. 
Outside of this frame the Indians stretch a buffalo-skin with the 
hair on, and it is said to make a safe boat to convey two or three 
persons, even when the current is rapid. Here, as well as on the 
shores of the Mississippi and Missouri, the land along the river 
banks is higher than further inland : tangled bushwood and tall 
reeds grow along the margins, while the prairies abound with 
mud and muddy water. Willows are plenty, and the general 
aspect of the country is pleasing. 

" May 16, Came to an Indian log-cabin, which had a fence 
enclosure around it. Passed several dead buffaloes floating down 
the stream. A few hundred' miles above here the river is con- 
fined between high steep bluffs, many of them nearly per- 
pendicular, and impossible for the buffalo to climb : when they 
have leaped or fallen down these, they try to ascend them or 
swim to the opposite shore, which is equally difficult ; but unable 
to ascend them, they fall back time and again until they are 


exhausted ; and at last, getting into the current, are borne away 
and drowned : hundreds thus perish every year, and their 
swollen and putrid bodies have been seen floating as low down 
as St. Louis. The Indians along shore watch for these carcases, 
and no matter how putrid they are, if the ' hump ' is fat, they 
drag them ashore and cut it out for food." 

Many pages of the Journal describes the daily incidents of 
the next few weeks, in which the party were slowly pushing 
their way up the river, and making occasional excursions from 
the boat in pursuit of the objects of their journey. The country 
was inundated in many places, and from the tops of the neigh- 
bouring hills it is represented as about equally divided between 
land and water ; on the eastern side of the river the ilat prairies 
had become great lakes. And they noticed that the floating ice 
had cut the trees on the banks of the river as high as the 
shoulders of a man. Barges from above passed them, bringing 
down the spoils of the hunters, and one from St. Pierre had ten 
thousand buffalo-robes on board. The men reported that the 
country above was filled with buffaloes, and the shores of the 
river were covered with the dead bodies of old and young ones. 

As they ascended they found the river more shallow in some 
parts, and again opening into broad places like great lagoons. 
They passed Vermilion Eiver, a small stream running out of 
muddy banks filled with willows. At a landing near there, a 
man told them that a hunter had recently killed an Indian 
chief near the foot of the Eocky Mountains, and that it would 
be dangerous for white men to visit that region. 

They also found on the river's bank the plant called the 
white apple, much used by the Indians for food, which they dry, 
pound, and make into mash. It is more of a potato than apple, 
for it grows six inches under ground, is about the size of a 
hen's egg, covered with a dark-brown woody hard skin the 
sixteenth of an inch thick : the fruit is easily drawn from the 
skin, and is of a whitish coloiu*. It had no flowers, the roots 
were woody, leaves ovate and attached in fives. When dry, 
the apple is hard as wood, and has to be pounded for use. 

The country grew poorer the farther they ascended the river ; 
and the bluffs showed traces of iron, sulphur, and magnesia. 

"May 28. We now see buffaloes everyday; they are extremely 



poor, but they are sporting among themselves, beating and 
tearing up the earth. They have roads to the river, along which 
they go and come for vyater. 

" To-day some Indians hailed us from the shore, and when the 
captain refused to stop for them, they began firing at us with 
rifles : several of the balls hit our vessel, and one passed through 
the pantaloons of a Scotch passenger. These rascals belong to 
a party of the Santeo tribe, which range across the country from 
the Missouri to the Mississippi River. 

" May 29. This morning a party of Indians came on board the 
boat at a landing-place, and it was some hours before we could 
get rid of these beggars by trade. Both banks of the river were 
covered with buffaloes, as far as the eye could see ; and although 
many of them were near the water, they did not move until we 
were close upon them, and those at the distance of half a mile 
kept on quietly grazing. We saw several buffaloes, and one 
large gray wolf swimming across the river only a short distance 
ahead of us. 

" The prairies appear better now, and the grass looks green, 
and the poor buffaloes, of which we have seen more than two 
thousand this morning, will soon grow fat. 

" May 30. We reached Fort George this morning, which is 
called 'The Station of the Opposition Line.' We saw some 
Indians, and a few lodges on the edge of the prairie, and 
sundry bales of buffalo-robes were taken aboard. Major 
Hamilton is acting Indian Agent during the absence of Major 
Crisp. We are a long way beyond the reach of civil law, and 
they settle disputes here with sword and pistol. The major 

pointed to an island where Mr. , a New Yorker belonging to 

the opposite line, killed two white men recently, and shot two 
others, who were miserable miscreants. 

"We are yet thirty miles below St. Pierre, and do not 
expect to reach it until to-morrow. ' Indians were seen along 
both sides of the river : many trade at this post and at St. 
Pierre ; at the latter I am told there are five hundred lodges. 
The Indian dogs resemble the wolves so much that I should 
readily mistake the one for the other were I to meet them in 
the woods. 

" Soon after leaving St. George, we sounded and found only 


three and a half feet of water, and the captain gave orders to 
' tie up,' and we started on a walk for St. Pierre. On reaching 
the camp, we found it a strongly-built low log-cabin, in which 
was a Mr. Cutting, who had met my son Victor in Cuba. 
Yesterday, while he was on a buffalo-hunt, a cow hooked his 
horse, and threw him about twenty feet, and injured his ankle. 
This he thought remarkable, as the cow had not been wounded. 
He showed me a petrified head of a wolf, which I discovered to 
be not a wolfs but a beaver's. There were fifteen lodges here,, 
and a great number of squaws and half-bred children ; and these 
are accounted for by the fact that every clerk and agent has 
his Indian wife as she is called. 

" June 1. The party had arrived at St. Pierre, and from thence 
the Omega, in which they had made their trip, was expected to 
return to St. Louis. The Journal continues : " I am somewhat 
surprised that Sprague asked me to allow him to return in the 
Omega. I told him he was at liberty to do so of course if he 
desired it, though it will cause me double the labour I expected 
to have. Had I known this before leaving New York, I could 
have had any number of young artists, who would have been 
glad to have accompanied and remained with me to the end of 
the expedition. 

" June 2. We have left St. Pierre and are going on up the 
river, deeper and deeper iato the wilderness. We passed the 
Chagenne River, which is quite a large stream." 

Audubon hired a hunter named Alexis Bouibarde at St. Pierre 
to accompany him to the Yellow-stone River, and thus describes 
him : ' He is a first-rate hunter, powerfully built, is a half-breed, 
and wears his hair loose about his head and shoulders, as I 
formerly did. . . .' 

" I am now astonished at the poverty of the bluffs we pass : 
there are no more of the beautiful limestone formations which 
we saw below, but they all appear to be poor and crumbling 
clay, dry and hard now, but soft and sticky whenever it rains. 
The cedars in the ravines, which below were fine and thrifty, are 
generally dead or dying, probably owing to their long inun- 
dation. To-day we have made sixty miles ; the country is much 
poorer than any we have passed below, and the sand-bars are 
much more intricate. 

2 A 2 


" June 4. The country we have seen to-day is a little better 
than what we saw yesterday. We passed the old Eiccaree 
village, where General Ashley was beaten by the Indians, and 
lost eighteen of his men, with the very weapons and ammuni- 
tion he had sold the Indians, against the remonstrances of 
his friends and the interpreter. It is said that it proved for- 
tunate for him, for he turned his course in another direction, 
where he purchased one hundred packs of beaver-skins for a 
mere song. 

" Passed the Square Hills, so called because they are more 
level and less rounded than the majority of the hills, From 
the boat the country looks as if we were getting above the line 
of vegetation ; the flowers are scarce, and the oaks have hardly 
any leaves on them. We are now sixteen miles below the 
Mandan village, and hope to reach there to-morrow. 

" Jime 7. We are now at St. Clark and the Mandan village ; 
a salute was fired from the Fort in honour of our arrival, and 
we answered it. The Fort is situated on a high bank, quite a 
hill ; here the Mandans have their mud huts, which are not 
very picturesque, and a^ few. enclosed fields, where they grow 
corn, pumpkins, and beans. We saw more Indians here than 
at any other place since we left St. Louis ; they have about one 
hundred huts, and they resemble the potato winter-houses in 
our Southern and Eastern States. As we approached the shore, 
every article that could be taken conveniently was removed 
from the deck and put under lock and key, and aU the cabin- 
doors were closed. The captain told me that last year, when 
he was here, the Indians stole his cap, shot-pouch, hone, and 
such-like things. These people appeared very miserable; as 
we approached the landing they stood shivering in the rain, 
wrapped in buffalo-robes and red blankets ; some of them were 
curiously besmeared with mud. They came on board, and 
several shook me by the hand, but their hands had a clammi- 
ness that was quite repulsive; their legs were naked, feet 
covered with mud ; and they stared at me with apparent 
curiosity because of my long beard, which also attracted the 
Indians at St. Pierre. It is estimated that there are three 
thousand men, women, and children, who cram themselvps into 
these miserable houses in winter ; they are said to be the ne 


jjZms ultra of thieves, and that most of the women are destitute 
of virtue. 

" At the request of the interpreter, one of the Indians took 
me into the village to see the medicine lodge. I followed my 
guide through mud and mire to a large hut, built like all the 
rest, but measuring twenty-three yards in diameter, with a 
large square opening in the centre of the roof six feet long by 
four feet in width. We entered this curiosity-shop by pushing 
aside an elk-skin stretched on four sticks. Among the medicines 
I saw a number of calabooses, eight or ten skulls of otters, two 
large buffalo-skulls with the horns on, some sticks, and other 
magical implements, with the use of which no one but a great 
medicine is acquainted. There lay crouched on the floor a lousy 
Indian, wrapped in a dirty blanket, with nothing but his head 
sticking out : the guide spoke to him, but he made no reply. 
At the foot of one of the props that support this large house 
lay a parcel, which I took for a bundle of buifalo-robes, but 
directly it moved, and the. emaciated body of a poor blind 
Indian crept out of it j he was shrivelled, and the guide made 
signs that he was about to die. We shook hands with him, and 
he pressed mine, as if glad of the sympathy of even a stranger ; 
he had a pipe and tobacco-box, and soon lay down again. As 
we left this abode of mysteries, I told the guide I was anxious 
to see the inside of one of their common dwellings, and he led 
us through the mud to his own lodge, which had an entrance 
like the other. All the lodges have a sort of portico that 
leads to the door, and on the top of most of them I observed 
skulls of buffaloes. This lodge contained the wife and children 
of the guide and another man, whom I took for his son-in-law ; 
all these, except the man, were in the outer lodge, squatting on 
the ground, and the children skulked out of the way as we 
approached. Nearly equi-distant from each other were kind 
of berths, raised two feet above the ground, made of leather, 
and with square apertures for the sleepers. The man of whom 
I have spoken was lying down in one of these. I walked up to 
him, and after disturbing his seemingly happy slumbers, shook 
his hand, and he made signs for me to sit down. I did so, and 
he arose, and squatted himself near us; and taking a large 
spoon made of a buffalo's horn, handed it to a young girlj who 


brought a large wooden bowl filled with pemmican mixed with 
corn and some other stuff: I ate a mouthful of it, and found it 
quite palatable. Both lodges were alike dirty with water and 
mud; but I am told that in dry times they are kept more 
cleanly. A round shallow hole was in the centre, and a chain 
hung from above near the fire, and on this they hang then- 
meat and cook. On leaving I gave our guide a smaU piece of 
tobacco, and he seemed well pleased, but followed us on board 
the boat ; and as he passed my room, and saw my specimens of 
stuffed animals and birds, manifested some curiosity to see 

" The general appearance of the fort is poor, and the country 
around is overgrown with the weed called 'family quarter.' 
And I saw nothing here corresponding to the poetical descrip- 
tions of writers who make their clay-banks enchanted castles, and 
this wretched savage life a thing to be desired, even by the most 
happy civilized men. These Indians are mostly Kecarees: 
they are tall, lank, and redder than most others that I have 
seen, but they are all miserable-looking and dirty. They 
occupy the village where the powerful tribes of Mandans once 
lived, but which were swept away by the dreadful scourge of 
the small-pox ; only twelve or fifteen families survive, and they 
removed three miles up the river. 

" J^me 8. To-day we have had a famous Indian council on 
board our boat. It consisted of thirty-four Indians of the first 
class ; they squatted on their rumps on both sides of our long 
cabin, and received refreshments of coffee and ship-bread, and I 
assisted in doing this duty; and a box of tobacco was then 
opened and placed on the table ; the captain then made a 
speech to them, and one Indian interpreted it to the others. 
They frequently expressed their approbation by grunting, and 
were evidently much pleased. Two Indians came in, dressed 
in blue uniforms, with epaulettes on their shoulders, and 
feathers in their caps, and with ornamented mocassins and 
leggings : these were the braves of the tribes, and they did not 
grunt or shake hands with any of us. 

" As soon as the tobacco was distributed, the whole company 
rose simultaneously, and we shook hands with each one, and 
gladly bid them good riddance. The two braves waited until 


all the others were on shore, and then retired majestically as 
they had entered, not shaking hands even with the captain, 
who had entertained them and made the speech. This is a 
ceremony which takes place yearly as the Company's boat 
goes up. Each Indian carried away about two pounds of 
tobacco. Two of the Indians who distributed the tobacco, and 
were of the highest rank, were nearly naked, and one by my 
side had only a clout and one legging on. They are now all 
gone but one, who goes with us to the Yellow-stone Kiver. 

" This morning the thermometer stood at 37°. We have 
passed the village of the poor Mandans, and of the Grosventres, 
to-day : the latter is cut off from the river by an enormous 
sand-bar, now covered with wiUows. We saw a few Indian 
corn-fields ; the plants were sickly-looking, and about two inches 
high. The prairies are very extensive, stretching away to the 
hills, and there are deep ravines in them fiUed with water 
sufficiently saline to be used by the Indians for seasoning their 

"June 13. Fori Union. Thermometer 53°, 72°, 68°. We 
arrived here to-day, and have made the shortest trip from St. 
Louis on record, just forty-eiglit days. We have landed our 
effects, and established ourselves in a log-house, with one room 
and one window, intending to spend three weeks here before 
launching into the wilderness. 

" There has been no ardent spirits sold here for two years, 
and the result is, the Indians are more peaceable than formerly. 
On the plains we saw the mounds where many Indians had 
been buried who died here of the small-pox. There were 
apparently several bodies in each mound, and a buffalo's skull 
was put over each one : this relic has some superstitious value 
in the estimation of these poor ignorant creatures. 

" Our boat has been thronged with these dirty savages ever 
since we fastened her to the landing, and it is with difficulty 
we can keep them from our rooms. AU around the village the 
iilth is beyond description, and the sights daily seen will not 
bear recording : they have dispelled all the romance of Indian 
life I ever had, and I am satisfied that all the poetry about 
Indians is contained in books ; there certainly is none in their 
wild life in the woods. The captain of our vessel told me that 


on his first trip here in a steamer, the Indians called her a 
great medicine, supposed that he fed her with whisky, and 
asked how much he gave her at a time. To which he replied, 
A whole barrel.' " 

It appears that the Omega did not, as originally intended, 
return from St. Pierre, but kept on to the Yellow-stone Elver. 
There Audubon bade the captain adieu with much regret, and 
wrote him a complimentary letter, which all the passengers 

" Jtme 14. To-day, Mr. Chantean, and Mr. Murray, a Scotch- 
man, arrived from the Crow Indian nation. They told me the 
snow was yet three feet deep, and quite abundant near the 
mountains. I learned to-day that the Prince of Canino, with 
his secretary and bird-stuffer, occupied the rooms I now have 
for two months." 

The interval between this and the 20th of June was employed 
in various excursions and exciting hunts after the buffalo. 

June 20. A stormy day prevents out-door excursions, and 
Audubon employs it in recording in his Journal an account of 
the ravages of the small-pox among the Indians, which he 
received from an eye-witness. The Mandans and Eecarees 
suffered most, though many Sioux and Blackfoot Indians 
perished with them. 

" Early in the spring of 1837 the steamer Assibone arrived at 
Fort Clark with several cases of small-pox on board. There an 
Indian stole a blanket belonging to a watchman on the boat, 
who was then at the point of death, and took it away to sow the 
seeds of this disease among his tribe, which caused his 
own death and the death of thousands of his nation. When 
it was known that he had taken it, a benevolent person on the 
boat went to one of the chiefs, told him the fatal consequences 
which would follow, and offered to give a new blanket and a 
reward besides if he would have it returned ; but suspicion, fear, 
or shame prevented the man from giving it up, and the pestilence 
broke out and began to spread among the Mandans at first, 
to which nation the thief belonged. 

" M St of the Indians were distant eighty miles at that time, 
killing buffaloes and preparing their winter food ; and the whites 
sent an express begging them to return to their villages, and 


telling them what would be the fatal consequences. The 
Indians sent back word that their corn was suffering to be 
worked, and that they would return and face the danger, which 
they thought was fabulous. Word was again sent them that 
certain destruction would attend their return ; but it was all in 
vain, come back they would, and come back they did, and the 
plague began in its most malignant form, their habits and 
improper food making them a ready prey, and a few hours 
sometimes terminating the loathsome disease by death. 

" The Mandans were enraged because at first it was confined 
to them, and they supposed the whites had caused it, and saved 
themselves and the Eecarees from the pestilence; and they 
threatened the lives of all the former, supposing they had a 
medicine to prevent it, which they would not give them. But 
by-and-by Eecarees and whites died also ; the disease increased 
in malignity — hundreds died daily, and their bodies were thrown 
beneath the bluffs, and created an intolerable stench, and added 
to its fatalness. Men shot each other when they found they 
were attacked : one man killed his wife and children, and then 
loaded his gun and placing the muzzle in his mouth, touched 
the trigger with his toe and blew out his own brains. One young 
chief made his friends dig a grave for him, and putting on his 
war-robes, he tottered out to it^ singing his death-song, and 
jumping in, cut his body nearly in too with a knife, and was 
buried there ; and others committed suicide after they were 
attacked, rather than die of the loathsome disease. The annals 
of pestilence do not furnish another such example of horrors, 
or where the mortality was so great in proportion to the popula- 
tion: of the once powerftil. tribe of Mandans only twenty-seven 
persons remained, and one hundred and fifty thousand 
persons perished, and the details are too horrible to relate. 
Added to this, the few whites were alarmed lest the Indians 
should massacre them as the cause of the evil. One influ- 
ential chief attempted to instigate the Indians to kill all 
the whites, but he was himself seized- and died before his plans 
were matured ; but in his last moments he confessed his wicked- 
ness, and expressed sorrow for it, and begged that his body 
might be laid before the gate of the fort until it was buried, 
with the superstitious belief that if this were done the white 


man would always look at him and forgive his meditated 

The Journal is taken up until the end of July with narratives 
of almost daily excursions in various directions in search of all 
kinds of game. Many anecdotes are related of the Indians, 
their modes of life, hahits, and peculiarities, most of which have 
been described by other writers, and hardly merit repeating 
again. Audubon found this region so rich in novelties of the 
kinds he had come in pursuit of, that he was anxious that 
some of the young men of his party should remain through the 
winter. " My regrets that I cannot remain myself are beyond 
description, and I now sadly regret that I promised you all that 
I would return home this fall. 

" August 3. We observed yesterday for the first time that 
the atmosphere wore the hazy appearance of the Indian summer. 
The nights and mornings are cool, and summer clothes are 
beginning to be uncomfortable." 

This seems to have caused Audubon to begin to think 
seriously of turning his course homeward. The exposure and 
hardships he had encountered in this long journey, and on 
his hunting excursions, had made an impression on his health. 

He began to find that his age was telling on his energy, and 
that he could not endure hardships as formerly. 

The Journal continues for ten days more, then abruptly ends, 
from which we conclude that the writer began to make pre- 
parations to return home. He reached New York early in 
October, 1843. 


The Sunset. 

When Audubon returned from his expedition to the Western 
Prairies he had reached nearly his seventieth year, yet he began 
at once to work with his usual energy and diligence. In a little 
more than two years appeared the first volume of the " Quad- 
rupeds of North America ;" and this was about his last work. 
The second volume was prepared mostly by his son Victor, 
and was published the year his father died, 1851. 

The interval of about three years which passed between the 
time of Audubon's return from the West and the period when 
his mind began to fail, was a short and sweet twilight to his 
adventurous life. 

He was now an old man, and the fire which had burned so 
steadily in his heart was going out gradually. Tet there are 
but few things in his life more interesting and beautiful than 
the tranquil happiness he enjoyed in the bosom of his family, 
with his two sons and their children under the same roof, in the 
short interval between his return from his last earthly ex- 
pedition, and the time when his sight and mind began to grow 
dim, until mental gloaming settled on him, before the night of 
death came. 

His loss of sight was quite peculiar in its character. His 
glasses enabled him to see objects and to read long after his 
eye was unable to find a .focus on the canvas. This fretted him 
a great deal, and led to his relinquishing drawing and painting. 


which, had always been sources of the purest pleasure to him. 
After this his only amusement consisted in walking and being 
read to. The following fine though juvenile account of one who 
visited him at that time gives the best picture of the last happy 
days of the sunset of his life which can be drawn. It appeared 
in the " New York Leader :" — 

" In my interview with the naturalist, there were several things 
that stamped themselves indelibly upon my mind. The 
wonderful simplicity of the man was perhaps the most remark- 
able. His enthusiasm for facts made him unconscious of him- 
self. To make him happy, you had only to give him a new 
fact in natural history, or introduce him to a rare bird. His 
self-forgetfulness was very impressive. I felt that I had found 
a man who asked homage for God and Nature, and not for 

" The unconscious greatness of the man seemed only equalled 
by his child-like tenderness. The sweet unity between his wife 
and himself, as they turned over the original drawings of his birds, 
and recalled the circumstances of the drawings, some of which had 
been made when she was with him ; her quickness of percep- 
tion, and their mutual enthusiasm regarding these works of his 
heart and hand, and the tenderness with which they uncon- 
sciously treated each other, all was impressed upon my memory. 
Ever since, I have been convinced that Audubon owed more 
to his wife than the world knew, or ever would know. That she 
was always a reliance, often a help, and ever a sympathising 
sister-soul to her noble husband, was fully apparent to me. I 
was deeply impressed with the wonderful character of those 
original drawings. 

" Their exquisite beauty and life-likeness, and the feeling of 
life they gave me, I have preserved in my memory ; and the 
contrast between these impressions and those of the published 
works of Audubon is very marked. The great work recalls 
the feelings I then had, but by no means creates such emotions. 
The difference is as great as the difference between the living 
Audubon and his admirable picture by Cruikshank. I looked 
from him to his picture in that interview. It was the naturalist, 
and yet it was not. There was a venerable maturity in the 
original that had been gained since the features and the spirit 


of the young and ardent enthusiast had been imprisoned by the 
artist. The picture expressed decidedly less than the living 
man who stood before me. It had more of youth and beauty 
and the prophecy of greatness, and less of the calm satis- 
faction of achievement; the sense of riches gained, not for 
himself, but for the world, and less of all that makes a man 

" I could sympathise with the manhood that looked out of the 
picture — I could find a certain equality between myself and 
the man whom Cruikshauk had painted. I could have followed 
him like his dog, and carried his gun and blanket like a younger 
brother ; but before the man Audubon, who turned over the 
drawings, and related anecdotes of one and another, I could 
have knelt in devotion and thankfulness. He had done his 
work. He was a hero, created and approved by what he had 
accomplished, and I bowed my spirit before him and asked no 
endorsement . of my hero-worship of Oarlyle or the Catholic 

" When I left, I said to him, ' I have seen Audubon, and I am 
very thankful.' 

" ' You have seen a poor old man,' said he, clasping my hand 
in his — and he was then only sixty years of age. He had 
measured life by what he had done, and he seemed to himself 
to be old: 

" It is hard to confine one's self to dates and times when con- 
templating such a man as Audubon. He belongs to all time. 
He was born, but he can never die." 

After 1846, his mind entirely failed him ; and for the last 
few years of his life his eye lost its brightness, and he had 
to be led to his daily walks by the hand of a servant. This 
continued until the Monday before his death. On Monday morn- 
ing he declined to eat his breakfast, and was unable to take his 
usual morning walk. Mrs. Audubon had him put to bed, and 
he lay without any apparent sufi'ering, but refusing to receive 
any nourishment, until five o'clock on Thursday morning, January 
27th, 1851, ' when,' says the widow, ' a deep pallor overspread his 
countenance.' The other members of his^family were imme- 
diately sent for to his bedside. Then, though he did not speak, 
his eyes, which had been so long nearly quenched, rekindled into 


their former lustre and beauty; his spirit seemed to be con- 
scious that it was approaching the spiriirland. One of the sons 
said, ' Minnie, father's eyes have now their natural expression j' 
and the departing man reached out his arms, took his wife's 
and children's hands between his own, and passed peacefully